Liverpool move for embattled defender a ‘possibility’ as Klopp could repeat Van Dijk masterstroke

Duje Caleta-Car, Mohammed Salisu, Southampton, January 2023

“It’s possible” Liverpool could move for Southampton centre-back Duje Caleta-Car amid the need to bolster the defence, according to a journalist.

Liverpool’s defence has chopped and changed numerous times throughout the season. That’s not been helped by the fact injuries have plagued a number of the defenders.

The season began with Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk as the centre-back pairing, before the former was forced out. That allowed Joe Gomez a good run in the side, and he featured for both some encouraging wins and poor losses.

That things have been up and down has been a feature of the Reds’ season, and can be linked somewhat to those injuries..

Ibrahima Konate and Van Dijk have also spent periods on the sidelines. Those two appear to form Jurgen Klopp’s preferred pairing at the moment.

They’ve started alongside one another in five of the last six games, with the Reds having won all six of those games.

That both are now fully fit and Liverpool are winning games highlights the fact injuries were a major burden this season and the struggles can partly be put down to that.

However, if the same thing is to happen again next season, Klopp’s side could conceivably endure another rough patch.

Caleta-Car a ‘possibility’ for Liverpool

As such, it’s been suggested reinforcements at the back are not a bad idea. That idea comes from journalist James Pearce, who has floated the idea that the Reds could pursue Southampton defender Caleta-Car.

“The only one I think possibly at Southampton would be Caleta-Car, the Croatian centre-back. Liverpool need to bolster that department in the summer and he’s one that Liverpool have looked at in the past,” he said on the Walk On Podcast.

“I don’t know if he’s still someone of interest, but the fact they’ve scouted him previously and he was considered, I’d put that as a possibility as well.”

Indeed, the defender has performed aptly for the Saints since joining, despite them being regularly under the cosh. The biggest moment of his was a potentially crucial goal against Arsenal, scoring Saints’ third goal before the Gunners got back level late on.

Despite the bottom-placed side obviously not having performed too well this term, Caleta-Car has been a reliable asset.

Van Dijk masterstroke could repeat

One of Liverpool’s best signings in recent memory came to the detriment of Southampton. Van Dijk, now one of the Reds’ biggest names, played at St Mary’s for two-and-a-half seasons before Klopp’s side came calling.

Similarly to their current situation, the Saints were in trouble the season Van Dijk left. He departed in January, and they were 17th in the table by the end of the season.

Despite having been at a side who were up against it often in his final season there, he’s now a top asset for Liverpool.

As such, Caleta-Car could have the same impact. While he’s not been at Southampton as long, he’s certainly been impactful in his short time, so he could certainly step up to a bigger side.

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