Why Pepe Is Not The Man Who Liverpool Need At The Back
Following a controversial transfer saga regarding Southampton centre-back Virgil Van Dijk that ended in a public apology, Liverpool are exploring other options but the Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has not written off the possibility of bringing the Dutchman in during this transfer window. Amidst this defensive conundrum, former Liverpool midfielder and one of their Istanbul heroes Dietmar Hamann has suggested to bring in Real Madrid and Portugal international Pepe who is available on a Bosman transfer after 30th June. He tweeted:
I’d take Pepe to @LFC in a heartbeat
— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) June 21, 2017
His outlook, however, has raised difference of opinion among the fan base, but the former German international has dismissed the demur of Pepe’s rash and indiscipline defending. Hamann has drawn the example of Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez who, despite controversies, is hailed for his winning attitude and dedicated display.
Pepe, 34, has won 13 trophies in his 10 years of association with Real Madrid and also played a pivotal part in Portugal’s Euro winning campaign last year. He is reportedly close to joining French giants Paris St-Germain, however, Hamann is still optimistic of a deal if the Reds boss Klopp wishes to make a late offer for the veteran defender.
Pepe is often criticised for his on-field theatrics and reckless tackling, but his defensive proficiency is of the highest calibre. He has got strong aerial and physical presence as well as a great sense of positioning. Pepe’s inclusion will strengthen the Reds defensively and enrich them in Champions League football due to his vast experience and knowledge of the game.
The Reds previously brought in Kolo Toure on a free transfer who became a fan favourite following a number of heroic displays in his three-year spell. Klopp, however, is currently focusing on more of a long-term solution and does not fancy Pepe for the Reds who is in the dusk of his career and can offer only a couple of seasons at the highest level.
Youngster Joe Gomez has been assured of first-team football following a couple of injury-riddled campaigns. Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren have been first choice centre backs of late and Ragnar Klavan is likely to continue as a backup option. The Reds will spend big on one of their shortlisted defensive targets, thus, chances of him having enough first team football is quite improbable.
The Portuguese centre-back, who is currently concentrating on the ongoing FIFA Confederation Cup 2017, has refrained from commenting on his future but reiterated his intentions to feature regularly at the top level for a couple of seasons furthermore. So recruiting Pepe is highly unlikely and despite his elite and intimidating status, the veteran simply does not fit into Klopp’s profile.