Liverpool’s legendary former centre-back Jamie Carragher doesn’t think Burnley’s Michael Keane represents an upgrade on what Jurgen Klopp currently has at his disposal, following rumours a £25m deal could get done this summer.
Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk is the primary target, but their manager Claude Puel is confident of keeping the Dutchman which means Liverpool might have to turn our attentions elsewhere.
While Carra has admitted he likes the 24-year-old Englishman, he’s expressed concerns that he’ll be able to make the step up – as Liverpool play a much less defensively-friendly style of football under Jurgen Klopp.
“I like him, I think he’s had a really good season,” Carra told Sky Sports (cited by Echo). “It’s a big jump to go from Burnley to Liverpool and a completely different way of playing.
“That 4-4-2 at Burnley, it’s a lot of protection, and maybe a similar thing to what we’re seeing with Mamadou Sakho at Crystal Palace.
“He looks a completely different player there but he’s playing a completely different game.
“Jurgen Klopp was talking about centre-backs at top clubs a couple of weeks ago. The questions asked of you are completely different.
“If you are going to buy Michael Keane, it’s going to be £25m. He’s a young English player.
“Is he better than Lovren and Matip? He’s maybe the same level.
“If you’re spending £25m on a centre-back he has to go straight in your team and make a massive difference. I don’t think he is quite at that level to come in and make a massive difference.”
We’re completely inclined to agree with Carra. Keane’s enjoyed a good season, but for £25m, we need a player who improves our starting XI and there’s no evidence to suggest he does that yet.
Van Dijk would, certainly, but the 25-year-old is going to be very hard to attain. Still, for £50m-odd we’re sure the Saints would be tempted into selling their prized asset, who’s missed most of this calendar year with injury.
If we can’t get him, then there’s a number of centre-backs available on the content, such as Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly we should perhaps consider next.