Perfect, cut-price Lovren replacement suggested by Liverpool podcast

Date published: Sunday 29th March 2020 1:04

Leeds loanee Ben White could be a feasible, cut-price replacement for Dejan Lovren in the summer, according to the Blood Red podcast.

Liverpool centre-back Lovren looks likely to finally leave Anfield this summer after a lack of first-team action .

The Croatia centre-back almost left Liverpool for AS Roma last summer in a deal which would have reportedly been worth as much as £15m, but Jurgen Klopp managed to convince him to stay.

This summer though the 30-year-old has been tipped to move on with his contract up in 2021.

Lovren, who says he has “another good five years” left in him at the top level, did admit that not playing was “frustrating” last month.

“I’m patient. I’m working behind closed doors a lot and sometimes it is frustrating when you don’t play,” he told Sky Sports News.

“You are fighting with yourself in your mind, asking ‘Why not?’. But you are accepting it, you are moving on and from my personal point of view, I want to be better every day in the training sessions.”

Lovren has played just 14 times for the Reds this season – including nine times in the Premier League and three times in the Champions League – and there will be no shortage of takers for the centre-back.

His departure will leave Klopp looking for a suitable replacement and AS have reported that Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez, RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni are all on the Reds’ radar.

Those three will all come at an extensive cost though with Upamecano rated in the £60m bracket, Gimenez reportedly having a release clause of €120m, while Bastoni, 20, was bought by Inter for €31m and is seen as one of the best young players in Italy.

That has led to David Hughes suggesting on the Reds’ podcast that White, currently on loan at Leeds United from Brighton, could be the answer.

The Athletic have claimed that scouts from Liverpool have watched the 22-year-old closely in recent months and are strongly considering a summer approach for his services.

 

 

 

And Hughes says it makes perfect sense: “He’s a versatile defender who can play centrally or as a wing-back.

“He has a really good footballing IQ, he can pass the ball, and it helps that he is playing for Leeds – they like to get the ball down and play.

“He ‘s only got an aerial duel success rate of around 52 per cent which is fairly low – and Liverpool can often face long balls.

“That’s something he will need to work on but he is still only 22.

“You are going to have to pay a lot to get him, with his age, what he is worth to Brighton and with him being English.

“It would be good to see him develop in that environment for another year or two – if he did come this year, he would probably need a bedding in period.

“For me – and this is the sticking point because Brighton wouldn’t let him go for this – I wouldn’t want to go over £30m.

“Anything above that would be too high because there are too many variables.”

READ MORE: London duo keen on Lovren, who ‘can’t stand Klopp and wants to leave’

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