The Defensive Problem – The Options

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It has become very clear that there will be a defensive reshuffling at Anfield with the retirement of Reds legend Jamie Carragher, the inconsistency of Martin Skrtel and the lack of showing from Sebastian Coates. This technically leaves Liverpool with one center-back (Daniel Agger). There has been numerous players linked, but who are they and how good are they?

Stefan De Vrij (Feynoord)

A 21 year old Dutch international, who at such a tender age has taken over the captaincy at Feynoord, that just shows the strength of both his ability and leadership credentials. He plays on the right side of the center meaning he could easily partner Agger. A fee for the youngster wouldn’t be inflated as his contract is over in the summer of 2014, around £8-10million could be enough to tempt Feynoords hands into selling. Reports suggested that Liverpool scouts have already watched De Vrij, however they weren’t impressed but the reliability is questionable. There is a very high possibility that De Vrij could be a Liverpool player next season.

Likelihood: 50%

Ashley Williams (Swansea)

The Welshman played under Rodgers last season, and impressive performances have lead to Williams being linked with Liverpool and Arsenal. At 28 years old he doesn’t represent a young option, but at around £10million he also doesn’t neccessilary represent a cheap option. The feelings amongst Liverpool fans are that for that price there are much better players available. The signing of Williams to me would represent a step backwards rather than progression; ‘a middle table team buy’ is what I would call it.

Likelihood: 55%

Mamadou Sakho (Paris St Germaine)

As with Stefan De Vrij, Sakho became captain of his club at a tender age however now he finds himself third choice for PSG after the big money signing of Thiago Silva and Alex. The Frenchman has already stated that he is very likely to move in the summer. He is out of contract in the summer of 2014 again meaning an uninflated fee of around £10-12million. Sakho is left footed and the partnering of two left footed center backs doesn’t seem too sensible. He is a physical presence, strong, quick, and sharp and racking up over 150 games experienced. The signing of Sakho would certainly be a different level from Coates and I’d go as far as saying he is just as good if not better than Skrtel. I personally think he would be a great signing.

Likelihood: 35%

Dede (Vasco De Gama)

I wrote an article which highlighted why Dede would be an amazing signing a few days ago and since then the speculation has continued. At 24 years old he would be a long term option, powerful and technically gifted he has already appeared 7 times for the Brazilian squad and is likely to be a fixture in the next year’s World Cup. Vasca De Gama are currently experiencing financial problems and a fee of around £12-15million would secure his services. The Brazilian contingent of Lucas and Coutinho would certainly be a draw as well as definite opportunity for first team football. To me Dede represents the best option.

Likelihood: 45%

Dejan Lovren (Lyon)

A young versatile Croatian who at 23 years old has established himself as a first team player for both Lyon and Croatia. Lyon are no long the French powerhouse which they once where and for the right price would be willing to sell Lovren. That right fee is around £10-15million. Lovren was heavily linked with Liverpool a few transfer windows ago, that never materialized but I hope it does this time along with Dede.

Likelihood: 35%

Carlos Zambrano (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Another very versatile player, he can also play at right-back and defensive midfield. The Peruvian has been a fixture in a Frankfurt squad who have gone from promotion to contending for a European spot next season. Technically he is very gifted, great speed and height he would represent a great squad player which could push both his partners at Center Back as well as Lucas for a first team place. At 25 years old he still has many years in his prime ahead, he is certainly great value with a price believed to be around £4-6million.

Likelihood: 30%

Aly Cissokho (Valencia)

Cissokho is different from the others, the Frenchman is a left back a position which I think is still a weakness in the squad. Enrique seems to be able to quickly shift from outstanding to ridiculous; he currently has very little competition with Robinson nowhere near the first team. Adding depth would be wise however weather Rodgers would have the funds to do this in the summer is to be seen. From what I have seen of Cissokho, he hasn’t really impressed me. Although assured in his defence his attack lacks the final ball even though he does get forward at an amazing speed. He himself has suggested that he would be very interested in a move to Anfield and a fee of around £6-8million would be enough. I think Cissokho isn’t quiet the right player but we will eventually need a better cover at Left Back.

Likelihood: 20%

Bruno Matins Indi (Feynoord)

Another Feynoord player who is highly talented and young, that has been linked with an Anfield move. The Portuguese born Dutchman has had an amazing season with Feynoord partnering De Vrij which has risen his stock around Europe considerably. It was reported that it would require £25million to sign both De Vrij and Martins Indi which means he is valued at around £115million. This much seems ridiculous to me for a player who has had only his first proper season in the first team. Speculation has considerably died down; I think this signing would be too much of a gamble. However it has been reported that Liverpool scouts have watched numerous youngsters at Feynoord including Janmaat (RB), Clasie (DM) and De Vilhena (MF).

Likelihood: 20%

I personally believe that signing Dede and Sakho would represent the best options. The duo combined would cost around £25million and would represent the addition of two young players with wealth’s of experience. The conversion of Kelly into a Center Back would mean that we end up with four amazing options at Center Back, just imagine Agger, Dede, Sakho and Kelly. These are four amazing players which could easily be alternated depending on form which would increase completion for places.


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  1. Another player to consider is 6ft5 Omar Gonzalez currently applying his trade in the USA at LA Galaxy! He’s big, relatively quick, good in the air and he reads the game well! I think he would be a good addition to the fold defensively, he’s young (24) and he wouldn’t cost much!

  2. Bring Dede, Mamadou Sakho and Aly Cissokho to Anfield. Sell Skrtel, Coates & Wilson. We’ll have adequate players in our defense. GlenJo / Kelly, Dede / Wisdom, Agger / Sakho, Enrique / Cissokho

  3. I prefer Dede, and I know as a dutchman that bruno martins indi is also a good strong player

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