Reigning Premier League champions Liverpool have suffered injuries to key players this season, and have looked uncharactristically sloppy at the back. Injuries to key defensive personnel like Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip have meant that Liverpool have had to field a makeshift and inexperienced rearguard.
With their famed attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane also not firing consistently, the Reds have been largely underwhelming in the 2020-21 Premier League.
Although Liverpool still lead the Premier League table, they might want to bring in defensive reinforcements for a title defense. Let's take a look at five defenders who could arrive at Liverpool in January.
#5 Ben White
Ben White has impressed for Brighton & Hove Albion after moving to the Premier League club this summer from the Championship.
The center-back has appeared in all 15 Premier League games for his new club, with his performances attracting the interest of reigning Premier League winners Liverpool who need urgent defensive reinforcements.
The 23-year-old is adept both with and without the ball and is comfortable in a high defensive line, attributes that could make him a success at Liverpool.
Brighton manager Graham Potter recently said:
“He (White) is a level-headed guy, and he wants to play football at the very highest level. He gets down with his work. He was totally professional in the summer despite the noise outside which you cannot control.”
It remains to be seen if Brighton could be persuaded to part with one of their key performers this season, who is also being chased by Chelsea and Manchester United.
#4 Ibrahima Konate
Ibrahima Konate is one of several center-backs linked with Liverpool since the long-term injuries suffered by Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip.
The 21-year-old did not play too many games for Leipzig last season because of a long-term injury, but there is no doubt about his potential. This season, Konate has played six games in the Bundesliga and as many in the Champions League season, which suggests that the player's injury problems could be behind him.
#3 Dayot Upamecano
Dayot Upamecano is arguably one of the best young defenders in the game at the moment. Undoubtedly, Liverpool and many other top clubs are reportedly interested in the services of the player.
The 22-year-old Frenchman has a great physical presence in the box, and can close down the most formidable of attackers. He has been a standout performer for RB Leipzig since his arrival at the club in 2017.
Earlier this season, the player alluded to the prospect of leaving Leipzig when he said:
“For the moment I am with Leipzig but it is true that I was able to discuss with certain clubs. As I said, for now, I am focused on Leipzig and I will continue to play for Leipzig. And then we’ll see. You never know what can happen in a football season.”
Considering the player's pedigree, Liverpool could face competition to land the highly touted Upamecano, as Arsenal, Manchester United, and Bayern Munich are also reportedly pursuing him.
#2 Sven Botman
Sven Botman is one of a bevy of center-backs linked with Liverpool this season.
The 20-year-old Dutchman has been outstanding in his first season at Lille, producing the highest success rate in the 2020-21 Ligue 1, since moving from Ajax.
Liverpool are reportedly in talks with Botman's agent for the player, who is tall, quick and proficient in one-on-one situations. Botman could improve further in the company of his illustrious compatriot Virgil Van Dijk, and could cost Liverpool far less than some of their other transfer targets like Upamecano.
#1 Ozan Kabak
Since arriving at his new club in the summer of 2019, Kabak has been nothing short of phenomenal, something that has attracted the attention of a plethora of clubs.
The 20-year-old Turk, who is also reportedly being pursued by the likes of Manchester United and AC Milan, has impressive attributes that could endear himself to the Liverpool faithful.