Liverpool Linked with Move for 23-year-old Wolfsburg Defender

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Matip Injury May Force Liverpool Into the Centre Back Market

Liverpool are reportedly interested in Wolfsburg defender, Maxence Lacroix, as they look to reinforce their back line in the upcoming January transfer window.

The Mirror have reported that the Frenchman is currently valued at around £25million, but Liverpool will look to negotiate on that price tag, with the player having just 18 months left on his current contract.

This follows the news that Joel Matip has ruptured his ACL, meaning he will miss the rest of the season through injury.

Therefore, a defender is seen as a necessity by many supports and the Wolfsburg defender could be a smart purchase.

Who is Maxence Lacroix?

Maxence Lacroix is a 23-year-old central defender, currently playing for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.

The defender has proved to be one of the standout signings from Jorg Schmadtke’s time as Sporting Director at Wolfsburg.

Since signing in August 2020, Lacroix has went on to make 113 appearances for the German outfit so far, scoring four goals and notching one assist.

Lacroix has been a regular in Wolfsburg’s side this season, making 15 appearances across all competitions and scoring one goal.

The 23-year-old has previously represented the France Under-20s on two occasions.

Why Do Liverpool Want Him?

One likely reason behind Liverpool’s interest in Lacroix is due to his high potential ceiling.

The 23-year-old already plays with such maturity at a young age but has the potential to become one of the best central defenders in the world.

Lacroix also boasts a fairly impressive injury record, missing just six games through injury during his career so far.

The defender also carries a lot of the natural traits that Jurgen Klopp looks for in his defenders, most notably his raw pace and strength.

Crunching the Numbers:

Lacroix boasts a set of pretty solid defensive numbers, averaged per 90 minutes.

The French youngster averages 2.99 tackles + interceptions, 1.37 blocks and 4.83 interceptions per 90 minutes.

In terms of his aerial ability, Lacroix averages 2.56 aerials won per 90 but at a percentage of just 51.4%.

On the ball, Lacroix averages 71.23 touches per 90 minutes, which shows his willingness to contribute in the build up play from the back.

He’s also quite progressive with the ball, averaging 40.57 carries per 90 minutes but is yet to be dispossessed once so far this season.

Finally, Lacroix averages 51.75 completed passes per 90 minutes with a pass completion rate of 86.4%.

4.46 of those are progressive passes, whilst 3.93 of those are passes into the final third of the pitch.

Verdict:

As a Joel Matip replacement, there isn’t many better value-for-money options on the market at the moment.

The likes of Goncalo Inacio and Piero Hincapie would both be amazing signings, but would likely cost double or triple the price tag of Lacroix.

Signing Lacroix could free up some money to spend big on a defensive midfielder or a Mo Salah replacement further down the line.

Therefore, I think that Lacroix could prove to be a really smart option for Liverpool as a player who’s value will only increase by working under Klopp.

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