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Liverpool’s Defensive Dilemma: Scouting Potential January Centre-Back Signings

Liverpool’s journey this season has been nothing short of remarkable. As they stand atop the Premier League table, the debate around bolstering their defence, especially the central area, intensifies. The Athletic’s comprehensive article delves into potential recruits who could strengthen Liverpool’s backline in light of Joel Matip’s injury and other concerns.

Assessing Liverpool’s Current Centre-Back Options

Liverpool’s central defence is currently composed of Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez, and Jarell Quansah. However, the injury to left-backs Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas has shifted Gomez’s role, exposing a potential vulnerability. This scenario echoes Liverpool’s 2020-21 season woes, with long-term injuries derailing their campaign.

Targeting Maxence Lacroix: A Viable Solution?

Maxence Lacroix, the 23-year-old centre-back from VfL Wolfsburg, emerges as a promising option. His ability to progress the ball, coupled with a strong ball retention rate (57), makes him an attractive prospect. Lacroix’s physicality and speed are crucial for Liverpool’s high defensive line. His active defending (74) and ability to disrupt opposition moves (59) mirror Liverpool’s current defensive approach. Valued at around £30 million, Lacroix offers a blend of youth and experience.

Photo: IMAGO

Exploring Edmond Tapsoba’s Fit in Liverpool’s Setup

Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba, 24, is another potential recruit. His versatility as a centre-back, his ball-playing skills, and his defensive prowess make him a suitable candidate for Liverpool’s style. Tapsoba’s progressive passing (60) and creative ball progression (xG from ball progression: 71) align well with Liverpool’s needs. His defensive impact (74) and ability to disrupt opposition moves (83) add to his allure, although his participation in the AFCON could delay any potential move.

Antonio Silva: Benfica’s Rising Star

Antonio Silva, the 20-year-old talent from Benfica, has been instrumental in their defensive solidity, conceding only 10 goals in 15 matches. His ball-playing ability (carry and dribble volume: 79) and defensive skills (defensive impact: 77) make him a strong contender. However, Benfica’s title aspirations and European commitments might make a mid-season transfer challenging.

Ousmane Diomande: A Hidden Gem

Sporting’s Ousmane Diomande, also 20, shows immense promise with his ball progression skills (carry-and-dribble volume rating of 94) and impressive defensive metrics. His high ratings in disrupting opposition moves (97) and making ball recoveries and interceptions (94) are notable. Like Tapsoba, his participation in AFCON and the interest from elite teams complicate a potential January transfer.

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