Liverpool signing this rising 18-year-old Ligue 1 starlet would secure defensive future

Why signing Goncalves would secure Liverpool’s future

According to French newspaper L’Equipe (h/t Daily Mail), Liverpool are eyeing a potential January bid for 18-year-old left-back Mathieu Goncalves.

A Toulouse academy player, Goncalves quickly rose through the ranks and broke into their first-team setup this season. The French defender, who made his debut against Paris Saint-Germain back in August, has so far played four league games for the Ligue 1 outfit.

Toulouse defender Mathieu Goncalves fights for the ball against PSG's Kylian Mbappe.
Toulouse defender Mathieu Goncalves fights for the ball against PSG’s Kylian Mbappe. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, European Champions Liverpool seem to have set their eyes on the teenager with an eye on the future.

Having already brought in young defenders like Sepp van den Berg and Ki-Jana Hoever in recent times, Liverpool look set to bolster their defensive options for the future by signing talented full-back, Goncalves.

Liverpool, who shied away from major signings in the summer, invested more on the youth, unlike many other top clubs.

This gives us a clear indication that the Merseyside club do not consider their recent success as the final lining, and are looking to etch their name in the history as a top club by building a strong future.

Teenager Goncalves in action for his side Toulouse.
Teenager Goncalves in action for his side Toulouse. (Getty Images)

Hence, their attempts to rope in Goncalves goes hand-in-hand with their plans of building a bright future and does not come off as a surprise.

Moreover, the Jurgen Klopp-led side have just one left-back in Andrew Robertson. The Scotsman is undoubtedly one of the best left-backs in the world at the moment and has been in excellent form since arriving at Anfield.

Despite being a full-back, he is the Reds’ third-highest assist provider behind Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Being an inevitable part of the Reds squad, Robertson is a definite starter in Liverpool’s league and Champions League campaigns. However, it could prove to be fatal as the gruelling schedule could one day take a toll on the Scot.

Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson.
Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson. (Getty Images)

Manager Klopp, who knows well about such situations, was seen deploying old guard James Milner at left-back in their 2-0win against Watford recently, thus resting Robertson. Though Milner is a midfielder, he has often been used as a utility player by Klopp.

However, that does not entirely qualify him as a proper left-back and his weaknesses could be better exposed against top-quality sides. Hence, Liverpool’s decision to keep close tabs on Goncalves is indeed a move in the right direction.

Predominantly a left-back, Goncalves has, however, started as a centre-back thrice in his 4 appearances for Toulouse – against stronger oppositions such as PSG, Olympique Lyon, and Monaco.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. (Getty Images)

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Verdict

A top club such as Liverpool definitely need a back-up for their first-choice left-back Robertson and bringing in Goncalves is definitely the right decision.

Moreover, by eyeing Goncalves, Liverpool are assuring themselves of a secure future, which will help them stay as a top footballing club in the long run.    

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Written by Siddharth Suresh

Hello folks, I am an avid football follower who likes to read, report and play the world's most beautiful game. My other hobbies include writing poetry, traveling and exploring new cultures.
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