Not just Lavia: Report names another Saints player Liverpool should consider signing this month

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Liverpool have already made three unsuccessful attempts to sign Romeo Lavia this summer, but one report has name another Southampton player for whom they should consider in the final three weeks of the transfer window.

The Athletic assessed several centre-back candidates who the Reds have either targeted already or should perhaps take into consideration. Among the latter category was Armel Bella-Kotchap, with whom Jurgen Klopp’s side were loosely linked by Fichajes last autumn.

The report references the pace of the Germany international, who’s ‘comfortable defending large spaces’ and an ‘aggressive defender’, albeit one who’s ‘prone to lapses in concentration and positioning’.

It was also mentioned that Liverpool’s coaches would have the scope to help smooth out the rough edges of his game if he wouldn’t come in as someone designated to be an automatic starter right away.

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Signed by Southampton for just £8.6m last summer (BBC Sport), Bella-Kotchap now has a market valuation of €20.9m (£18m) according to Football Transfers.

That would make him seem quite affordable, but it comes with the caveat that the same website cites a similar figure for Lavia, who’s quite clearly valued at a whole lot higher than £18m by the Saints.

The German’s pace and ability to defend large spaces could make him ideal for Klopp’s side when Trent Alexander-Arnold moves into midfield, enabling him to cover the ground vacated by Liverpool’s roving number 66.

Also, at the age of 21, Bella-Kotchap would come to Anfield as a player for the long-term, potentially acting as the eventual successor to 32-year-old Virgil van Dijk further down the line.

However, the Saints defender would need to vastly improve his use of the ball if he were to join the Reds. As per FBref, he ranked among the bottom 20% of centre-backs in Europe’s five main leagues last season for passing accuracy, and the bottom 10% for progressive passes per 90 minutes.

There are clear imperfections to his game, and his name mightn’t be top of the list of potential defensive recruits for Liverpool, but he could possibly be regarded as a useful squad option if Klopp is very eager to add to his ranks at the back before the summer transfer deadline.

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1 Comment

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