As football has hit the corona-virus induced pause button, the whirling world of transfer rumours shows no sign of slowing down.
And despite the Bundesliga CEO, Christian Seifert, warning that the summer transfer window could collapse with the financial perils of the sports hiatus financially hamstringing clubs capabilities to spend big in the market, the likes of Liverpool — who announced record profits, £42M, for the last financial year — still have the means to land their targets.
Although the likelihood of such a move happening are admittedly slim, the Reds should throw their hat into the ring for Ajax’s versatile Dutch international Daley Blind.
By all accounts, Dejan Lovren’s almost six years stint at Anfield is in its final throes with the Croatian widely expected to depart to pastures new in the summer — or whenever the next transfer window opens.
Linked with Arsenal, West Ham and Tottenham, Lovren — despite being well down the pecking order when it comes to the centre half hierarchy at the European Champions — will need replacing and Blind, 30, would be an ideal candidate.
In typical Dutch footballing fashion, the former Manchester United player — a trait he shares with his would-be teammate, Georginio Wijnaldum, — is extremely versatile and is at home playing anywhere from centre-half to left-back to central midfield.
FSG, Liverpool’s owners, have rebuilt the club from midtable mediocrity and punching well below its weight to Champions League winners through a heavy analytical based approach to the transfer market. Mostly, the Boston based ownership group has focused on signing players below the age of 25 who would have a resale value If their move went awry.
But an exception could be made in the case of Blind — who Transfermarkt value at some €20M — given the number of roles he can cover.
With his compatriot, Wijnaldum, and the club still to come to terms on a new deal, the Ajax stalwart could cover the defensively diligent central midfield berth — and who better to cover marauding full-backs than a natural defender, whose cultured, left-footed passing ability is a bonus.
Andy Robertson has established himself as arguably the finest left-sided full-back in the world since his transfer to the Reds from Hull City in the summer of 2017. But the Scotland captain has no natural competition in the squad and — while it would be nigh on impossible to sign a better player to take his position in the regular starting team — Blind could provide the option to rotate with Robertson, which would lessen the chances of the Scotsman picking up an injury.
In the heart of the Reds defence, the 69 times capped Netherlands international could deputise for his national team captain, Virgil van Dijk. This season, Blind has mainly played in the Eredivisie as a centre-half, averaging 1.4 tackles per game, as well as 1.5 interceptions and 2.2 clearances
In the summer of 2016, Liverpool landed Estonian defender Ragnar Klavan from German team FC Augsburg with the current Cagliari number 15 providing solid back up as both a central defender and left-back in his two-year stint at Anfield.
In Blind, Jurgen Klopp could have the “deluxe” Klavan, a better player with more positional strings to his bow.
Whether a former Manchester United player would be willing to move to their bitter rivals, even indirectly, seems doubtful — coupled with the fact that it is unlikely that the Dutchman would leave a pivotal role at Ajax to become a peripheral player with the Reds — any move that involves swapping the red of Amsterdam for that of Liverpool is highly-unlikely to happen.
But if the reigning European Champions want to consolidate their position among Europes élite clubs they need to be both brave and canny in the market, and any move to sign Blind would tick both those boxes.