Liverpool need a superhero to solve their centre back defensive crisis…
And that should come in the shape of a Botman.
Lille’s Dutch defender Sven Botman has been repeatedly linked with Liverpool in the January transfer window.
Liverpool are now actively looking to sign or loan a centre back before the Monday 11pm transfer deadline after Joel Matip’s injury, EOTK can confirm.
That signing should be the 21-year-old Dutchman who has been revelation in France’s top division since joining from Ajax in the summer.
In their first 21 games, Lille have let in just 15 goals and kept 10 clean sheets.
His performance in 50-50 duels has been also exceptional.
396 players have contested 20+ duels in Ligue 1 so far this season, Sven Botman has the highest success rate:
◎ 143 contested
◎ 105 duels won
◉ 73.4% success rate
Lille don't seem to miss. 👀 pic.twitter.com/TiNMWFfTQh
— Squawka (@Squawka) January 1, 2021
At 6ft 4in he is a commanding presence who is comfortable in the air and on the ball.
Commentators suggest he would suit Liverpool’s high defensive line perfectly.
“Sven Botman has been simply brilliant for Lille this season,” said freelance sports writer Robin Bairner on Twitter.
“It’s incredible that it’s his second season playing first-team football. There’s been the odd mistake, but these have been memorable only because of how few there have been.”
Sports journalist Duncan Castle said Botman has been partnering veteran Portuguese defender Jose Fonte who has also played alongside Virgil van Dijk and Toby Alderwiereld.
“From what I understand of Fonte’s impression of Botman, he thinks he’s the best of all of them,” said Castle on the Transfer Podcast show.
“He describes him (Botman) as a machine and a man who doesn’t make mistakes and also indicates that for a young player playing alongside an experienced professional, he’s very open to learning and taking instruction and improving his game.”
This impressive form has led to links with Europe’s biggest teams, most notably Liverpool.
Some reports on social media have suggested Liverpool began negotiations with Lille earlier this month over a reported £20 million deal, but bulked at paying a significant upfront fee.
Whether those claims are true, many Liverpool fans are hoping the talks have resumed or started following Matip’s injury.
FSG have been reluctant, understandably, to splash out big on a defender in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic with all the uncertainty that it has created.
But as it appears now a centre back signing is inevitable, Liverpool should make as big a statement as they did against Spurs.
Botman would surely fit the FSG transfer model.
Moreover who would be better to help him settle at Liverpool than fellow Dutchman Van Dijk.
The victory over Spurs made two things abundantly clear.
Firstly Liverpool’s season and battle to retain the Premiership is far from over.
Secondly the need for a central defender following injuries to Matip and Fabinho has never been greater.
As Liverpool weigh up potential centre back targets, Botman stands out as the exciting signing.
Winning the league after serious injuries to van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota would be a story fit for a movie.
Now we just need a superhero.