Why Liverpool Should Sign Stefan De Vrij To Solve Their Defensive Crisis
Liverpool’s failure to bring in proper reinforcements in the summer transfer window hit them severely and the Reds, who were considered as one of the title contenders this season, are now in deep trouble following a disastrous 4-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday. Their defensive vulnerability let them down time and again and Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool boss, seems to have lost his patience when he took Dejan Lovren off after 30 minutes of the Spurs game.
Liverpool’s back-five (including custodian Simon Mignolet) is suffering from mediocrity and a defensive overhaul is now desperately needed in order to re-establish themselves as title challengers. However, it is not possible to replace everyone at one go and the likes of Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Alberto Moreno, Nathaniel Clyne and Andrew Robertson have been quite impressive so far. But neither Dejan Lovren nor Ragnar Klavan is good enough to feature for Liverpool and a defensive recruitment is essential in the January transfer window.
Klopp identified Virgil Van Dijk as his new central defensive option and despite failing to land him in summer due to Southampton’s rigidity, he is expected to chase the Dutchman’s signature once again in winter. Van Dijk is a top-notch centre-back, but the German gaffer should have planned an alternative for the ex-Celtic defender, particularly when it was the topmost priority all summer.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss, however, must have learned from his mistake and shouldn’t repeat the same mistake twice. In that scenario, Stefan De Vrij of Lazio will be an apt alternative who has rejected several contract extension offers from Lazio. He could be a free agent next summer.
The Serie A outfit are expected to listen to offers for De Vrij in January with a view to recoup the money they paid to Feyenoord for him back in 2014. The 25-year-old Dutchman is regarded for his all-around defensive ability. He is strong in the air, good at positioning and his passing skills will help him fit into Klopp’s system.
Liverpool’s goalkeeping situation is under scrutiny too. Klopp has three custodians in his squad who are fighting for a first-team slot. Although Simon Mignolet has improved and is currently being preferred over Loris Karius and Danny Ward, he is not at all on par with the likes of David De Gea, Hugo Lloris, Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech.
All in all, Liverpool are in deep trouble here and the recovery can begin as early as January if they be clever enough and sign Stefan De Vrij. At least one centre-back is absolutely mandatory for Jurgen Klopp if he plans to keep chasing for a ‘top-4’ finish.