Opinion

Should recruiting a centre back be priority over a No. 10?

Since the transfer window opened on 1st July, Liverpool have wasted no time in recruiting players.

In fact, a total of £163.98 had been dolled out on new players alone. Keita, Fabinho, Shaqiri and Alisson were all important signings, strengthening the team as a whole.

Although indications have been that Klopp looks to be done in the transfer market, the Reds continue to be linked to Fekir of Lyon. It makes sense, considering the club have yet to replace Coutinho since he left for Barcelona in January. While the Reds did just find without their little magician, there were times where they did struggle to break down well organised sides.

Fekir was seen as the solution, until a proposed move fell through at the 11th hour due to a past knee injury. While it’s possible that the deal could be revived, could the money been better spent elsewhere? Personally, I feel that another area requires concern. That is none other than the centre back department.

Now, hear me out before forming your own opinions. First and foremost, we have to consider the starting centre back duo, namely van Djik and Lovren. Van Djik’s place in the first XI is never in question, Lovren’s on the other hand is a different matter.

Don’t get me wrong, he has been enjoying a fantastic spell so far in the first team. Getting into the Champions League & World Cup final is no small feat. But still, it’s natural for one to wonder: how long can this good form last? After all, it wasn’t that long ago before did the Croatian get slaughtered for his performance against Tottenham. If he does hit a bad patch of form (pray he doesn’t), it’s up to the reserves to step up. That’s where the main issue arises.

Let’s start off with Matip, who many thought would partner van Djik after the Dutchman’s arrival. However, he ended up as a backup due to a combination of poor performances and injury issues. Him hobbling off the pitch against Borussia Dortmund in preseason is a reminder of how unreliable his services can be. Klavan, though solid when called upon, can’t be expected to play a string of games given his age. Gomez is still untested in a central role, having played most of his Liverpool career at right-back. To rely on him as 3rd choice is hence a risky gamble.

For those adamant that we need a new No. 1o, we already have one in the form of Mane. His change in squad numbers isn’t just symbolic, it is a true representation of the role he plays in the squad. Ever since Coutinho’s departure, the Senegalese has stepped up to embrace the role. Instead of just off the ball movements, Mane is often seen carrying the ball forward from deep. While he does have the odd pop at goal, his deep drives is a crucial part of Liverpool’s attack. With Keita another player known for his box-to-box lunges, it can be argued that the search for a No. 10 is less of a priority.

With reliability issues over our backup defenders, a centre back should take precedence over a No. 10. The likes of Domagoj Vida and Diego Godin have been linked to Liverpool and both represent decent backup options. The only issue is that Klopp isn’t looking to strengthen the defence department, and that worries me.

The gaffer may be contend with his current options, but Matip’s recent injury should already be sounding the alarm bells. Until defensive reinforcements arrive, concerns about our defense will continue to linger. Which is why I hope that the next signing – if there ever be one – would be a defender, not a silky play-maker.

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