Five realistic alternatives for Virgil van Dijk Liverpool should look at
Liverpool have an uphill task to sign Virgil van Dijk and might have to consider other options this summer.
In the last eight years, Liverpool have struggled to finish strongly in the league more often than not. The Reds finished in the Top 4 on only two occasions during this period and on both occasions, they were one of the best-attacking sides in the league. However, it is the defence that let them down in both seasons.
In 2013/14, when Liverpool came agonisingly close to winning the league title, they scored 101 goals but conceded 50! Last season, the Reds scored 78 goals but conceded 42 with only Arsenal conceding more than Liverpool in the Top 6.
Every season, Liverpool have a weak link in their defence. Sometimes it is the right back, sometimes it is the left back and sometimes it is the central defence that has let them down. Last time around, it was mostly down to lack of quality in the heart of the defence.
A defence with Ragnar Klavan as third choice and Lucas Leiva as the fourth choice is hardly convincing. It looked like Jurgen Klopp was ready to address the issue this summer by pursuing Virgil van Dijk but instead, Liverpool were forced to put up a public apology as news emerged that the club had made contact with the player illegally.
Although van Dijk has handed in a transfer request, Southampton are still adamant that the player is not for sale and even if they do let him leave, it is unlikely that he would end up at Liverpool.
In this scenario, the Reds may have to look elsewhere and here are five alternative targets Liverpool should consider.
#5 Jonathan Tah - Bayer Leverkusen
Germany have no shortage of talented youngsters and Jonathan Tah is one of those talented youngsters. Tah and Niklas Sule are the future of the German defence. The latter signed for Bayern Munich and maybe it is time for the former also to make the step up to a top club.
For someone so young, Tah is a gigantic figure. He stands tall at 6ft 4.5in and also has the frame to go with it, making him look like an old school defender. However, he is still very comfortable on the ball and will be a very good alternative for van Dijk.
Tah started his career with Hamburger before joining Bayer Leverkusen in 2015. He also made his debut for Germany in 2016 and has been capped thrice so far at the senior level.
The 21-year-old averaged 1.54 tackles, 2.69 interceptions and 3.40 clearances per 90 minutes last season playing for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.
The last player Liverpool signed from Bayer Leverkusen was Emre Can and he has turned out to be a very smart acquisition. The presence of a German manager and other German players in the current Liverpool squad could help them if they pursue the player’s signature.