5 centre-backs Liverpool should consider signing this January

Liverpool FC Training Session and Press Conference
Jurgen Klopp's side are in dire need of defensive reinforcements

The start to this season has witnessed familiar issues at Liverpool. Hard to stop when going forward while equally sloppy at the back. This trait has stagnated the early season promise shown, with only one win in 8 matches in all competitions.

It's no secret that Liverpool have a great attacking unit, with Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah all performing well. However, frailties at the back have been evident during the last couple of games, with the Reds losing ground both domestically and in Europe.

Failure to sign preferred target Virgil van Dijk from Southampton and more importantly, lack of alternatives was astonishing for a club like Liverpool.

Dipping back into the market is imperative for the Reds and their hopes for a silverware this season. We look at 5 central defenders Liverpool should consider signing this January.

#5 Yeray Alvarez (Athletic Bilbao)

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The 22-year old Spaniard has been extremely impressive for Athletic Bilbao

With Aymeric Laporte the usual highlight in the Bilbao backline, Alvarez only burst onto the scene last season and cemented his place in the side with a series of strong performances, which has given us quite an impression of this talented youngster.

Diagnosed with testicular cancer mid-season, he remarkably returned to the side before the end of the season. Currently sidelined after a relapse of the cancer, he has been missed as Bilbao have struggled at the back.

A player boasting speed and strength, he would be an upgrade on the centre-back options currently available at Anfield. Alvarez has the composure and calmness on the ball that allows him to play from the back, with precise diagonal balls from the back being a feature of his game, a quality Klopp admires in his defenders.

Valued at €30 million by the Basque club, Alvarez is only 22 and could be a mainstay in the Reds backline for years to come.

Linked with a move to Barcelona during last season, the player himself dismissed the rumours stating it as a joke. He is certainly a player Liverpool should look into, and is capable of becoming the future of their defence.

#4 Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen)

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Liverpool could use Champions League football as bait to sign Tah

Jonathan Tah has been on Liverpool's radar in the past and Klopp, during his stint at Dortmund, must have noticed the young German defender.

Tipped to be the future of the German national team, he flourished during the stint of Roger Schmidt's reign as Leverkusen boss, and is into his third season with Leverkusen, having only turned 21 this season, while he continues to get better each season.

An imposing physique accompanied by tactical awareness and technical skill, he is a rare breed in the game. An all-round defender at such a young age, he uses his bulky stature well to outmuscle opponents as well as his speed and agility, given his size.

A player well-suited for the Premier League, he would be an ideal signing for Liverpool with his skillset suggesting a speedy adaptation to the league.

And with Leverkusen struggling to break into the Champions League, Liverpool would have an advantage prising him away. Young players have thrived under Klopp and adding Tah would certainly benefit both parties going forward. Liverpool need to sign him before any bigger clubs are linked with him.

#3 Clement Lenglet (Sevilla)

Lenglet is another promising Frenchman for the future

We have another young player from La Liga, this time from Sevilla, who signed the Frenchman for €5 million last January from AS Nancy and is another one in a long line of talented French footballers.

Although he arrived mid-season, he managed to rack up 18 appearances last season under Jorge Sampaoli. A change in managerial position at Sevilla in the summer could have put his position in doubt but has performed ever so well as he did last season.

With Les Bleus currently boasting the best young players around, Lenglet would always be overshadowed by other high-profile players. And, that obscurity has been a blessing for a player who has really made his presence felt since his move to Los Rojiblancos.

He is a tidy defender who relies upon his reading of the game, making timely interceptions and tackles, adding to his high passing rate in games.

This season, Sevilla have started the season strongly and are currently 2nd in the standings. He has played in all but one match in the league so far and is likely to have a strong season which could change his position in the France squad.

He's undoubtedly a viable option for the Reds, with an intelligence unmatched by any of the current Liverpool defenders, at a very reasonable price.

#2 Mattia Caldara (Atalanta)

The Juventus defender is currently on loan with Atala

Last season, Atalanta surprised everyone when they finished 4th ahead of some big clubs. This success invariably led to the departure of talented players, a cycle kick-started last January, when Juventus signed Caldara after being impressed by the young Italian's performances.

A player who idolises former Azzurri defender Alessandro Nesta, he has been the bedrock of the Atalanta defence for the past few months, and continues to grow in stature.

A player who likes to take charge of his defence, he has a great anticipation and tough tackling strength. His major strength is his aerial dominance which he also uses in the opposition box scoring 7 goals last season, a tally higher than the goals scored by the entire Liverpool defence last season.

Liverpool have missed a goalscoring defender since the departure of Martin Skrtel. Although his technique lets him down occasionally, he is only 22-years old and will improve as he plays more.

Juventus will be reluctant to part with a player they have invested in so quickly, however, with Chiellini and Barzagli still going strong and a starting spot looking unlikely right now with the Old Lady, the Reds might be able to lure him with assurances over first-team opportunities, making it a deal that might go through if Liverpool push hard enough.

#1 Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur)

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The Belgian has already risen to prominence in England

Alderweireld has proved to be a top defender since his arrival in England. Able to adapt to a variety of roles in the defence, he has been lauded for his defensive attributes and leadership qualities during his time at Spurs.

The Belgian's arrival conformed with the rise of the club, which is no coincidence. He has improved himself and others playing alongside him, season after season and is clearly at his prime.

His contract runs until the summer of 2019 season and he has not agreed on a new deal, with both parties adamant over their demands. A cut-price deal for a player of his quality seems enticing, although negotiating a deal with Spurs' chairman Daniel Levy is far from pleasant. Strengthening a rival is certainly not on his mind.

Although there is an outside chance of this deal happening, he could be exactly the type of player Liverpool need. An organiser, who can lead the defence and bring a sense of calm among the players and someone with Premier League experience.

Interestingly, he was first signed by Southampton on loan, to replace Dejan Lovren, who moved to the Reds at the start of 2014/15 season. A familiar scenario could be on the cards at Anfield.

Edited by Aakanksh Sanketh
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