Anfield Scouts Eye Wolfsburg’s Defensive Gem
From the heart of the Bundesliga to the legendary turf of Anfield, Wolfsburg’s centre-back Micky van de Ven is rumoured to be in the sights of Liverpool FC.
As Jurgen Klopp seeks to bolster his defensive ranks and bounce back from an underwhelming campaign, a fresh Dutch prospect offers a potential remedy.
A Look into Liverpool’s New Transfer Target
Van de Ven, the 22-year-old Dutch prodigy, has been consistently impressive in the Bundesliga, thus placing him on the radar of Liverpool’s new sporting director, Jorg Schmadtke. The Reds are reportedly showing serious interest in the defender as a more economical alternative to RB Leipzig’s €110m-rated talent, Josko Gvardiol.
Sources at Football-Oranje.com suggest the Dutch talent could potentially be headed to Merseyside for a plausible sum of €40m (£34m). This figure appears more digestible for Liverpool, given their focus on the midfield in the upcoming transfer window following the departures of James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Why Van de Ven Makes Perfect Sense for the Reds
The recently concluded Premier League season saw Liverpool conceding 47 goals, a vulnerability that left them bereft of major silverware and outside the top four. This underperformance highlighted the team’s need for both defensive reinforcement and midfield stability.
Van de Ven’s performance metrics demonstrate a player ready to step up to this challenge. With 33 Bundesliga appearances and 11 clean sheets to his credit this season, the Dutch defender’s 88% pass completion rate, 1.4 average tackles, and 3.1 clearances per game present a compelling case. The Dutchman’s proficiency in winning 64% of ground duels and his 70% success rate with attempted dribbles further underlines his versatility and strength.
At 6 foot 4, Van de Ven is no slouch in the speed department either. He clocked a rate of 35.87 km/h, which could be a strategic asset for Klopp’s preferred high defensive line. Van de Ven’s ability to track back and intercept in transition could prove vital in blunting opponent’s counter-attacks.
Comparisons with Alaba: More Than Just Hype?
While he shines in his central defensive role, Van de Ven is equally competent as a left-back. Journalist Ronan Murphy has hailed the Dutchman as “flourishing”, even drawing comparisons with Real Madrid’s David Alaba.
The Austrian legend, dubbed an “unbelievable talent” by Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, offers a remarkably similar skill set to Van de Ven, as per FBref. This data-driven parallel further strengthens the case for the Dutch prodigy’s potential at Liverpool.
Lothar Matthaus, Germany’s football legend, once said of Alaba: “He doesn’t just perform to 100 percent of his abilities at the back, but he closes the space, pings passes about and runs with the ball at speed.”
Should Van de Ven continue to enhance his game in a similar vein, he could very well emerge as one of the most dynamic defenders in the Premier League, a prospect that should excite the Anfield faithful.
With his eyes set on a strategic rebuild, Liverpool’s sporting director, Schmadtke, must make his move for the Dutch centre-back. This could be the vital piece in the jigsaw as Liverpool seek to restore their position amongst the English elite.