Liverpool Centre-Back Options

It is 7th January as of writing and Premier League clubs are already starting to do business. Brighton have recalled striker Percy Tau from Anderlecht which created excitement for the Seagulls, West Ham United striker Sebastian Haller is being linked with a move to Ajax and Amad Diallo has finally joined Manchester United following the completion of the deal from Atalanta in the summer.

But less about those clubs, the Champions of England Liverpool are like most, yet to bring in any names in the January transfer window. Jurgen Klopp has revealed to the press earlier today that January signings are unlikely, causing outrage from the Liverpool supporters, who feel that a centre back is needed if they want to retain their title. Who are some names that could bolster the reds and give them a great chance to go on and win the title?

Sven Botman

Liverpool have been heavily linked with a specific defender during the past two weeks, his name being Sven Botman of Lille. The Dutchman signed for Lille from Ajax in the summer of 2020 for a reported €9 million. Liverpool fans are getting very excited about the potential signing of the 20 year old because his stats for the French side are quite a sight!

Compared to Liverpool centre backs this season (Van Dijk, Gomez, Fabinho, Matip, Williams) his stats aren’t too shabby!

His 88% pass completion rate ranks him joint last with Rhys Williams, but don’t be fooled, 88% is still top tier. His completion rate is only 2% behind that of Virgil van Dijk’s, who is edging a return to light training for Liverpool.

Botman’s 5 successful dribbles for Lille ranks him first among the Liverpool centre backs, beating second place Virgil van Dijk by 2 dribbles and Fabinho and Joe Gomez by 2. The young Englishman, Rhys Williams is yet to have a successful dribble in his professional career.

The centre back’s 197 recoveries also ranks him 1st among Liverpool centre backs, but you have to feel like the injury crisis has a part to play for that.

Sergio Ramos

I know what you are thinking, is this guy mental? Here me out, if the rumours about Mohamed Salah to Real Madrid are true, then there are rumours of a Salah-Ramos swap deal. The general consensus around the Liverpool fans is no way should it happen, but Sergio Ramos is not finished yet, as his stats suggest.

The Spanish international is somewhat known for his goalacoring tendencies, as the stats show, his npxG (non penalty expected Goals) ranks first among Liverpool centre backs, with his 2.3/ 0.18 p90′.

This doesn’t mean that Sergio Ramos is incapable defensively, many still rank him as the best centre back in the world. His 17 blocks is bettered by just one Liverpool centre back, the makeshift Fabinho Tavares, with 21.

Ramos is no stranger when it comes to playing out from the back, his 92% pass completion rate ranks highest compared to Liverpool centre backs, Van Dijk being 91% in second place.

Ozan Kabak

One player Liverpool have been linked with until the sale of Dejan Lovren to Zenit Saint Petersburg in July 2020 is Ozan Kabak. The Turk is a rock at the back for Schalke 04 as they kept 8 clean sheets last season. The Royal Blues are currently sitting rock bottom in the Bundesliga with just 4 points from 14 games, all being draws, so a move away from Schalke for Ozan is not unlikely.

In recent times this season Liverpool have adopted the long ball approach to some games, however the makeshift centre backs are inexperienced when it comes to this approach, Ozan has a 70% long pass success rate for Schalke this season, which is just behind Joel Matip’s 72%.

Ozan Kabak has been dispossessed 5 times for Schalke this season, which is 1 time less than Joe Gomez, however playing 2 times more than the English international.