Why Liverpool Should Pursue Inigo Martinez Instead Of Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool were linked with Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk for the longest time over the summer but the deal did not go through after the Reds were accused of trying to approach the player through illegal means. That has not deterred them though and they are still hoping for a move in January. However, they have also been linked with signing Inigo Martinez from Real Sociedad – a defender who is arguably one of the most underrated players.
He was a standout performer for the La Liga club last season. Martinez has been quite impressive at Sociedad and he even recently broke into the Spanish international side, picking up 4 caps in the process. The Reds are in desperate need of a new centre-back and Martinez seems to tick all the boxes that Jurgen Klopp looks for in a defender. Moreover, they could purchase him at a price lower than van Dijk and the fact that he is 26 years of age, means that he is enjoying his best years of football.
Martinez is a brave tackler and never shies away from intercepting to keep the opposition at bay. He proves to be quite a challenge for even the quickest of strikers and considering Liverpool’s defensive frailties, the player could be a valuable addition. In fact, he possesses a sense of power and urgency that Klopp has desperately been trying to establish in the Reds’ back line.
The 26-year-old has been a part of Real Sociedad’s squad for his entire career so far and could be interested in a move to the Premier League to test new waters. He is strong at taking set-pieces too, which was understood to be one of the main reasons behind Liverpool’s interest in van Dijk. However, it remains to be seen if they can sign van Dijk and in that case the move is a doubtful one, trying to land Martinez’s signature seems like a more viable and logical move.
Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan have been trying to string the defence together but they have been very weak and have conceded a lot of goals. A lot of Liverpool’s problems this season have been due to their weakness at the back and they could have probably made a stronger title challenge if only they had a better defence to match their blistering attack.
Hence, making a move for Martinez can truly benefit Liverpool. He has the power and solidity required to be one of the top defenders and considering the dearth of options at Anfield, he will prove to be an upgrade. Liverpool are not in a bad position in the league table and can certainly attempt to make a stronger finish if they secure Martinez’s signature in January.