Rumoured Liverpool target Dayot Upamecano “still has a mistake in him” and so the Reds should look elsewhere for a centre-back signing, according to one pundit.
Several reports have suggested that Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp could enter the January market for a new defender. Indeed, he has lost first-choice centre-back pairing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to injury.
That has left Joel Matip as the club’s only senior, recognised player in the position. Fabinho, who is returning to fitness, can fill in, with Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips waiting in the wings.
TEAMtalk understands that free agent Daryl Janmaat is a player Liverpool are considering for cover. As for a more expensive, long-term addition, though, RB Leipzig’s Upamecano is supposedly also on their radar.
According to commentator Ian Darke, however, the Reds should make a move for Kalidou Koulibaly.
“Well I’ve seen Upamecano a fair bit now and he’s an athlete and he’s powerful and he can bring the ball out of defence,” Darke told ESPN FC (via the Daily Express).
“But at the moment I think he’s still got [a mistake in him] and we saw that when Leipzig shipped five goals against Manchester United in the second half.
“There was another mistake from him in the Champions League, can’t remember who against the other night as well. He’s a very good player and he’s going to get a lot better by the time he’s, say, 26.
“But at the moment I still think he’s got a mistake in him. I think Koulibaly would be a better bet. Everybody out there in Europe knows that Liverpool need a central defender, so the price is going to go through the roof.”
Koulibaly was a summer target for Manchester City, who eventually opted to bring in Benfica’s Ruben Dias.
Liverpool urged not to rely on Matip
Meanwhile, former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson has had his say on the club’s predicament.
Despite Matip being Klopp’s most senior option, the pundit feels the manager should still have concerns about the former Cameroon international.
Indeed, Matip does not have the most unblemished injury record since his move to Anfield.