Why this Newcastle star over Dyche’s trusted lieutenant could be the ideal partner for Van Dijk

According to The Independent, Liverpool are targeting either Jamaal Lascelles or James Tarkowski, maybe both in order to reinforce their defence. The Reds are aiming to strengthen all the departments in their team.

Lorius Karius is steadily improving, the midfield does its job and that front three is probably the best in Europe.

The area that most needs attention is the defence. Even though Liverpool’s defence is improving and has been phenomenal since the turn of the year, there is a lot of room for improvement. The only real quality centre-back that Klopp has at his disposal is Virgil Van Dijk.

Van Dijk has turned out to be a fantastic signing. He has been a real leader, both by example and communication in the Liverpool backline. However, they still need a solid partner for Van Dijk. Dejan Lovren, despite his refinement, just isn’t good enough.

The Croatian defender always has mistakes in him and has costed Liverpool at times. Joel Matip is a reliable choice but he is better in a sporadic role. Joe Gomez is currently too young to start for the majority of games.

Joe Gomez

The talent is certainly there but the Englishman needs further development. Ragnar Klavan is injury prone and once again, not good enough to win Liverpool the Premier League.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has looked for potential acquisitions within the country. Both are up and coming young English centre-backs who had their breakthrough seasons this time. But who should Liverpool buy? Let’s have a look:

Jamaal Lascelles

Lascelles has been nothing short of a heavenly figure at St. James’ Park. After an excellent 2016/17 season in the Championship, Lascelles’ performances have consistently improved.

Jamaal Lascelles

The English defender is now among the best in the Premier League. He is Rafa Benitez’s voice on the pitch; a born leader. He demands the absolute best from his teammates. He leads by voice and by example.

At 24, he has a mature head on young shoulders. He is an able defender, who can read the game well. He positions himself well, is strong in the tackle and wins aerial duels more often than not.

He is also a set-piece threat, scoring three goals this season. He has the composure to bring the ball out or clear it when there is even a slight risk involved.

He has by far been the Magpies’ best player this season. With him, the Toons concede about one goal per game and without him, they concede over 2.5. Rafa Benitez has transformed Lascelles into one of the hottest prospects in English football.

James Tarkowski

James Tarkowski, just like Lascelles, is another talented young English centre-back who didn’t get his ticket to Russia. He was the best defender in the Burnley side that qualified for next season’s Europa League. Many think that the reason for Tarkowski keeping clean sheets is Burnley defending deep with numbers. It is not true at all.

James Tarkowski

The Burnley man makes 1.5 tackles, 1.6 interceptions and 1.4 blocks per game. One of the major reasons he received his first England call-up in March was his ability on the ball.

He can play the ball out from the back with ease, averaging about 4 successful long-balls per game. Tarkowski is an excellent defender and wins 2/3rd of his duels. Be it one-vs-one, defending crosses or tracking the runs, the former Brentford guy does it all.

Not only has he replaced Michael Keane in the Burnley line-up but has also has overtaken him in the pecking order for the English national side.

The Verdict

Tarkowski and Lascelles would both fit in at Anfield. They are already better than most of the options Jurgen Klopp currently has. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Merseyside club buys both but if it comes to just one, Jamaal Lascelles will be a better option.

His on-field attitude is desired at a big club like Liverpool and will form a solid partnership with Van Dijk for years to come. Getting him will be a challenge for Liverpool as his heart is set at Newcastle but you never know what happens when Liverpool come calling.

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