Liverpool’s January Transfer Considerations with Lloyd Kelly Already Linked
Liverpool are reportedly considering a January move for Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly, according to Graeme Bailey.
The 90min reporter suggests that the Reds could face competition from both Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United for the 24-year-old.
Spurs reportedly had a £20million bid rejected by Bournemouth in the last week of the summer transfer window.
Liverpool’s Defensive Dilemma
A key criticism of Liverpool’s summer business was the lack of incoming players in the defensive positions. After only four Premier League games, the Reds have just four fit senior defenders available.
Ibou Konate, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Conor Bradley are all injured, while Virgil Van Dijk is currently serving a three-match suspension.
This could force Liverpool into action in the next transfer window, as we saw them move quickly to sign midfielders Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch this summer.
— Anfield Edition (@AnfieldEdition) September 7, 2023
Profile: Who is Lloyd Kelly?
Lloyd Kelly is a 24-year-old centre-back, currently playing for Bournemouth in the Premier League.
The defender has been a regular fixture in Bournemouth’s side since their promotion back into the Premier League in 2022.
In the 2022/23 season, Kelly made 24 appearances for the Cherries with 23 of those coming in the Premier League.
Since joining from Bristol City, he has made 119 appearances across all competitions for Bournemouth.
The 24-year-old is also highly versatile, capable of playing in central defence, left-back and has even been previously deployed as a holding midfielder on the rare occasion.
He is also left-footed, which is a trait that Jurgen Klopp doesn’t have in any of his current centre-back options with Van Dijk, Konate, Gomez, and Matip all being right-footed.
Transfermarkt currently values the Englishman at around £18million, but it is expected that Bournemouth would demand a fee in the region of £25million.
Tactical Fit: Kelly in Klopp’s Plans
First of all, it’s important to note that Kelly is English so would contribute to Liverpool’s home-grown player count.
Tactically, one could expect Kelly to become another option at centre-back, behind the likes of Virgil Van Dijk and Ibou Konate.
However, he is a credible fit to the inverted full-back position that Andy Robertson has been deployed in since the end of last season.
A more defensive left-sided defender has been suggested to be the key behind unlocking Trent Alexander-Arnold’s creative ability on the opposite side.
Whether Kelly has the quality to become an important player at Liverpool remains to be seen, in my opinion.
However, I believe Liverpool’s recruitment team has correctly identified the style of player that Klopp’s squad needs.
The Reds had shown interest in players like Chelsea’s Levi Colwill and Sporting’s Goncalo Inacio in the summer, both of whom are tactically similar.
It’s also worth noting that both of these players have since signed new contracts with their respective clubs.