Liverpool could target a major center-back in January with Lille in a financial crisis

Liverpool could target a major center-back in January with Lille in a financial crisis

It is just over a month since Liverpool suffered another injury to their midfield, with Joe Gomez coming across a knee injury while on international duty with England.

The Reds have handled reasonably well without Virgil van Dijk and England defender, but reinforcement is still needed as the club’s edge is closer to the opening of the winter transfer window in January.

It remains to be seen whether any business will take on Liverpool’s desire for value from negotiations, but recent development in France could capture the attention of English influencers.

It was reported on Tuesday night that Lille President and key stakeholder – Gerard Lopez – met with Elliott Management – the club’s main funders – to discuss debt and future issues. in the future.

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The word is that the club needs to repay loans before next summer, which could open the door for Liverpool to move for Sven Botman, who is a center-back and one of their best talents.

Botman only moved from Ajax in the summer for around £ 9m, and signed a five – year contract meaning that under normal circumstances, it would cost little or be unavailable for a move.

Lille’s financial situation means the club could be put on hold and if that is the case, the Reds should consider testing the water with a conversation about the Dutch defender .

Botman kicks in a lot of the boxes that Liverpool usually value and is just 20 years old increasing his potential value.

Despite his youth, Botman is 6-foot-4 and has a number of robust features that allow him to control situations against most opponents, with his height aiding his air ability .

He has competed for 78 air duels in Ligue 1 this season, winning 58 of those who leave him with an impressive 74.4% success rate. For a look, Van Dijk won 81% of his Premier League duels last season and Joe Gomez won 62.1%.

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Pep Ljinders has spoken about the importance of air strength for Liverpool’s midfield in the past, saying: “As a tight team you have to accept a lot of long balls and second balls, so it’s important that loads -support in your middle who are good in the air so they can win the first challenge. ”

That is certainly an advantage for Botman and there is little restriction on his speed across the ground, as he is reasonably mobile despite how important he is as Klopp tends to use a high defensive line. .

In addition, the Dutchman is a footballer who is a very rare feature among the central defenders of the center, and it is comfortable to own a possession that is no surprise as he has gone through academy stages. Ajax youth. Pictured below is his passing network from the Ligue 1 match in which he has played most of his passes so far this season, and captures how he plays. use the ball in a number of different ways.

Sven Botman’s passing network from his vs vs Lorient show earlier in the season
Sven Botman’s passing network from his vs vs Lorient show earlier in the season

This season, he ran in third place in France’s top flight for pass to the third final behind just Marco Verratti and Steven Nzonzi, and sets the top for an advanced pass, with those who are defined as a completed pass do not move the ball towards the opponent’s goal anyway. 10 yards from the farthest point in the last six or completed passes into the penalty box.

Botman has a very modern image and his skill set is suitable not only for succeeding, but succeeding in defense for a high-risk team such as Liverpool, with media supporters are less often able to clarify their weaknesses once they have difficult responsibilities such as managing one-on-one situations and protecting open spaces 50 yards from the goal.

It remains to be seen to what extent Klopp considers his main defensive struggles to be an emergency but in the end, given Lille ‘s current stature and Botman’ s suitability to perform at Anfield, a quick move could be one to keep an eye on.