Two sure-fire exits, as Klopp backed to dwindle Liverpool ranks in transfer spree

Rhys Williams, Naby Keita Liverpool v Fulham March 2021

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could let as many as three centre-backs leave in the upcoming transfer window, according to one pundit.

The Reds’ defence has suffered a host of injuries this season, leading to profound changes at the back. All three senior centre-halves have long-term problems, leading to chances for Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips. However, further injuries to back-up options led the club to make two January signings.

Ben Davies has yet to feature, but Ozan Kabak has formed a strong partnership with Phillips.

Despite the pair keeping four clean sheets since they joined up, uncertainty will arise over their futures in the summer.

Indeed, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip will all return to fitness, potentially leading to Liverpool having seven centre-backs on their books.

Speaking to Football Insider, Danny Mills predicted Jurgen Klopp to considerably shift around his options at the back ahead of next season.

“You probably need four first-team centre-halves and in that, you’d include Nat Phillips as one of the younger players,” Mills said.

“Let’s assume Virgn Van Dijk comes back from injury fit and Joe Gomez the same. You’ve then got Ben Davies, you’ve got Kabak, Joel Matip and Nat Phillips, that’s six.

'Ozan Kabak a super deal for Liverpool' - Dirk Grosse Schlarmann

Sky Germany reporter Dirk Grosse Schlarmann believes Liverpool have agreed a 'super deal' for new defender Ozan Kabak after he joined from Schalke on loan on Deadline Day.

“How many centre-halves do you need? What’s viable to keep for your squad?

“If Van Dijk and Gomez come back fit, I can definitely see a couple going out, that’s for sure.”

Kabak is only on loan from Schalke, albeit with an option to buy.

Liverpool and the Bundesliga club negotiated an £18million purchase option, but reports suggest that the Reds are eyeing a cut-price deal.

What’s more, the Anfield side are also looking at RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate as a target.

Liverpool stars tipped to leave

Ben Davies Liverpool

“And Rhys Williams,” Mills added when discussing Liverpool’s current options.

“These players, when they’ve had a taste of first-team opportunities, they might think ‘You know what? No. I need to get out of here because we need something else, what we need is first-team football’.

“That’s what it comes down to.”

Kabak and Phillips earned their fourth clean sheet together in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday.

READ MORE: Neville lauds ‘extraordinary’ Liverpool moment; Klopp’s ‘best player’ named