Why Liverpool signing Diego Carlos would be a blunder
According to Spanish outlet El Desmarque (h/t The Sun), Liverpool are eyeing a sensational £65 million swoop for Sevilla defender Diego Carlos, with manager Jurgen Klopp keen to bolster his injury-stricken defensive unit heading into the crucial second half of the campaign.
The Reds are currently ahead of defending champions Man City atop the Premier League standings but Klopp could be caught short of cover at the back, with fixtures set to come thick and fast in the following months. (h/t Sun)
Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren have all suffered injuries this season and the manager has occasionally had to call upon the services of defensive midfielders, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, to partner Virgil van Dijk in the heart of the defence.
Matip started the season as the first-choice central defender alongside van Dijk at the back and excelled over the first couple of months before suffering an injury, thus opening the door for Lovren to step in and prove his worth.
The Croatian filled in admirably with some solid shifts but he too fell prey to a thigh injury, allowing Gomez to cement his place in the eleven for the time being.
Gomez, who missed large quarters of the previous campaign due to an injury, has grabbed his opportunities with both hands in the absence of Matip and Lovren to re-establish himself as a regular fixture beside van Dijk at the heart of the backline, playing a key role in the Reds’ FIFA Club World Cup triumph in Qatar last month.
However, despite the likes of Gomez, Lovren and Matip all proving their worth at various points in the ongoing campaign, Klopp has now set his sights on a big-money move for Sevilla’s Diego Carlos.
Carlos, 26, only joined Sevilla from French side Nantes for a fee of £13.5 million this past summer and has since gone on to play 20 times across all competitions for the La Liga outfit, scoring twice in the process. As a matter of fact, the Brazilian has played all but 15 minutes of the club’s 2019-20 season in the La Liga so far.
The 26-year-old, who previously clocked up 108 appearances for Nantes and also featured for Estoril Praia in the Portuguese top-flight, has made an immediate impact since his switch to Sevilla
As per whoscored, the 6ft. 1-inch Brazilian boasts of a pass success rate of 83.4%, including 2.5 aerial duels, 1.2 tackles, 0.7 interceptions, 4.8 clearances and 4.2 long balls per game in the La Liga, figures which speak volumes of his qualities as a ball-playing centre-back.
Liverpool’s ‘Gegenpressing’ philosophy under Klopp has always seen them play the ball out with short exchanges from the back and Carlos seemingly has the technical abilities to slot into the German’s system at Anfield.
To that end, however, it is really difficult to understand why Liverpool would ideally need another proven centre-back in their ranks when they have already got the likes of Gomez, Matip and Lovren to partner van Dijk in tandems.
Injuries and suspensions are a part of every team’s campaign in any season and in any league across the world and Liverpool are no exception.
Thankfully, the Reds have got as many as five top-quality central defenders competing for two roles at the heart of the defence week in, week out, and the manager can hardly ask for more depth in that department.
The injuries picked up by Lovren and Matip are hardly long-term ones and both are scheduled to return to action before the end of January, meaning that the arrival of a new defender is absolutely unnecessary and would only complicate things when the existing players recover.
On top of that, Liverpool already have two fine young centre-backs, Nathaniel Phillips and Sepp van den Berg, coming through their youth ranks.
Furthermore, if the Reds are genuinely interested in spending big money on a new centre-back, they might as well look for an upgrade on their existing options to partner van Dijk.
Carlos has excelled in the La Liga but he has done so for only half a season, and despite his obvious talent as a defender, the Brazilian remains unproven at the Champions League level.
To be more precise, Liverpool need to do justice to their status as the reigning European champions with the quality of their recruitment.
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All in all, Liverpool’s links with Diego Carlos look absolutely farcical and Klopp should avoid such a blunder at all costs.