Should Klopp Be Targeting This Ex-Chelsea Defender?
Liverpool are reportedly interested in bringing former Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger back to the Premier League in a shock transfer move.
According to Spanish publication ‘Nacional’, the current Real Madrid centre-back is on Jurgen Klopp’s list of potential transfer targets despite a silent January window so far.
Nacional claims that: “Rudiger is putting pressure on Real Madrid to give him a ‘considerable salary increase’ which reflects his importance.”
With Joel Matip sidelined with a long-term injury, Virgil Van Dijk, Ibou Konate and Jarrell Quansah remain Klopp’s only options at the heart of his defence.
This has led many to believe that the Reds would target a defender in this January window, but it’s growing increasingly likely that this won’t be the case.
Why Rudiger Could Be the Right Man:
There is no doubt that Rudiger is one of the most talented defenders in the world, hence why he’s a UEFA Champions League winner.
He naturally has a lot of the traits that Klopp loves to have in his central defenders, with an abundance of pace and strength.
It’s not just his physical traits that are impressive though, with the German possessing bags of technical ability to.
Boasting a 90.1% pass completion rate and 2.37 progressive passes per 90 minutes, it’s clear he would fit Klopp’s style of play.
The 30-year-old also has an abundance of Premier League experience, with over 200 appearances for Chelsea.
During his time in London, Rudiger lifted the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the FA Cup.
With Quansah regularly featuring as a backup to Van Dijk on the left-hand side, Rudiger would fit the bill in terms of competition with Konate on the right.
However, this could actually create more reasons to stay clear from Rudiger, which will be touched on further down.
Ultimately, I think signing Rudiger would be an absolute disaster of a signing for the Reds.
At 30-years-old, it’s hard to see Rudiger willingly being used as a rotational option and especially not for the price of the player.
But it’s just as hard to see him taking a large amount of minutes away from Konate, who seems to be on his way to becoming a world-class defender himself.
The transfer fee to sign Rudiger would likely cost between £25-40million, which is nearly impossible to see the Reds spending that on a player past his prime.
On top of that, Rudiger would likely demand a weekly wage of around £200,000 a week, which is even harder to comprehend.
Ultimately, I think it’s more likely that this signing would stunt the progress of this Liverpool side than it would help to take it to the next level.
A younger rotational option would be a much smarter purchase for Liverpool, which would help Konate reach his full potential in the long-term.
But either way, I still think it would take a huge shift in circumstances to force Liverpool into action in this transfer window.