Liverpool need to star building for the future and according to the latest reports the club is ‘very interested’ in making a transfer for an ideal for Virgil van Dijk heir.
Football is a perpetual rigmarole, never-ending, never stopping, constantly evolving, and constantly expanding, just like the very universe which we inhabit. Change is not only necessary, it’s inevitable. Nothing can remain constant. Liverpool is discovering this the hard way this season having endured a tremendous fall into plight in comparison to the heights Jürgen Klopp set in previous seasons.
The team’s star players seem to have crumbled in recent months, and the team is a shadow of itself. Currently, it’s also one of the oldest in the Premier League, and that’s definitely one symptom of why the Reds have hit this intangible wall this season.
Sadly, no one can be averse to criticism based on Liverpool’s current campaign, and that also includes Virgil van Dijk. Undoubtedly one of the best center-backs in world football, he has struggled this season to maintain the high level of performance that has set him apart from his positional peers over the years.
Instead, his performances have been tepid on the whole. Sometimes brilliant, but more often just average or even below average. That was certainly the case against Manchester City in a game where Van Dijk looked like a passenger, and in which Pep Guardiola’s side was able to run rings around him at times.
looked like a passenger, and in which Pep Guardiola’s side was able to run rings around him at times.
Van Dijk is not getting any younger. Neither are most of the Liverpool center-back options at Klopp’s disposal at the moment. Just like Van Dijk, Joël Matip is also going to be turning 32 years old this year, and Joe Gomez has been on a decline since his injury problems began to haunt him.
That leaves Klopp with very few viable present and long-term options and it would not be a surprise to see Liverpool address this vulnerability in the transfer market.
This is what they might do according to a report from Foot Mercato, which claims Liverpool is ‘very interested’ in Napoli’s South Korean sensation Kim Min-jae. The 26-year-old was only recently brought to Naples from Fenerbahçe to replace Kalidou Koulibaly, but Kim has already settled in superbly and is on course to lift the Scudetto with Napoli this season, not to mention a Champions League quarter-final against AC Milan.
Strong in the air, and very capable on the ball, the South Korean international inhabits the left-sided center-back role and comparisons to Van Dijk are apt. Since coming into this Napoli side, Kim has fortified the defense, and has been just as crucial to the side’s success as Khvicha Kvaratskhelia or Victor Osimhen up top.
He would cost Liverpool a significant transfer fee, with reports suggesting as much as $52m (€48m/£42m). Napoli after all will be in a comfortable financial position and has never been forced into selling their star players but has always held out for the highest possible bid.
This should deter Liverpool considering the club is also pursuing Jude Bellingham. However, given how grave the Reds’ defensive problems have been this season, perhaps signing a defender of Van Dijk’s ilk to solidify the defense could be just as pivotal if not more pivotal this summer.
Kim Min-jae’s playing style, with his ability on the ball and his strength and speed, makes him the ideal target. Liverpool would struggle to find anyone better, and if Klopp is going to start to rebuild his team and herald a ‘new era’ at Anfield, the South Korean would make for the perfect foundation from which to commence the very necessary building project that needs to take place.