Jürgen Klopp hasn’t had one type of center-back in his squad since Ragnar Klavan, which is why Liverpool may search for options ahead of a Joël Matip decision.
Liverpool has an overwhelming need for new midfielders at the moment, but such a demand for an upgrade in the engine room is resulting in another transfer requirement being overlooked. Joël Matip has entered into the final 18 months of his contract on Merseyside and at this stage, he seems unlikely to sign an extension.
Now aged 31, the Cameroonian defender will likely depart Anfield once his deal expires; there has even been talk that the veteran could be moved on as early as this summer, should an appropriate offer come in. That means Jürgen Klopp will have to identify a new center-back target. It remains to be seen who will make the Reds’ shortlist, but Liverpool should consider sourcing what they haven’t got.
Simply put, Klopp doesn’t have a left-footed center-back within his ranks which makes him different to the likes of Pep Guardiola, Erik ten Hag and Mikel Arteta, each of whom have appeared to prioritize left-footed additions in recent years. Ragnar Klavan was the last left-footed central defender to play for Klopp, which captures the void, so which lefties could Liverpool consider?
Joško Gvardiol (RB Leipzig)
While Joško Gvardiol looks destined to cost too much to acquire, a move seems possible due to the fact he grew up as a boyhood Liverpool fan.
Since I was a little boy, my dad and I watched Liverpool matches, and I grew up with only them,” Gvardiol told Croatian news outlet 24Sata in the past. “When I took football more seriously, I started following them, and I definitely want the Premier League and Liverpool.”
Indeed, the 21-year-old has emerged as one of the brightest starlets on the continent at RB Leipzig. Since being poached from Dinamo Zagreb in the summer of 2021, he’s experienced a rapid rise to the forefront of the transfer market, and he was one of the best performers at the World Cup in Qatar.
Gvardiol looks very complete and possesses very few weaknesses, although it is reasonable to suggest there will be competition for his signature in the coming years.
David Carmo (FC Porto)
David Carmo is a player who has been tipped for a move to Anfield in the past. Around the time when Liverpool suffered from an unprecedented defensive injury crisis in 2020/21, he was a player on Klopp’s shortlist as he debated addressing the problem in the January transfer market. Per MARCA, his club’s president said he had a ‘foot and a half’ through the door at the time.
Still just 23, Carmo is approaching peak age, he stands 1.94m tall, he’s left-footed, and he moved from from SC Braga to FC Porto last summer for around $22m (£18m/€20m).
Over the past 12 months, Liverpool have bought Luis Díaz and Darwin Núñez from the Portuguese top-flight, and Matheus Nunes could be next to follow after impressing at Sporting CP before joining Wolves last summer.
As another gem from Portugal, Carmo could follow in the footsteps of those who have recently made the switch to Anfield.
Pau Torres (Villarreal)
It is somewhat surprising that Pau Torres remains contracted to Villarreal. The Spanish defender has been tipped with a whole host of clubs over the past few years including Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal, yet he’s refrained from making a transfer.
Torres is cool and composed when in possession, and he’s capable of playing through the lines while also hitting lofted pass over longer distances, acting as a true natural when it comes to build-up play from the back.
He’s 1.91m tall and has scored nine La Liga goals over the past three-and-a-half seasons, which captures his threat from set-pieces. Torres isn’t necessarily the quickest and he’s now 26 years old, but he seems good enough to play for any of the giants in Europe and this summer, his contract will enter its final 12 months.