5 Center Backs Liverpool Can Sign If They Don't Get Virgil Van Dijk
Liverpool have been chasing Southampton center back Virgil van Dijk all summer, and they're running out of time.
Earlier in the transfer window, a move seemed imminent, but then Southampton reported Liverpool to the FA for supposedly "tapping up" the Dutch international. Liverpool were forced to apologize and said they had ended any interest in van Dijk.
However, van Dijk is training alone at Southampton because he wants to leave. He handed in an official transfer request and word on the street is he only wants to go to Liverpool.
Southampton are reportedly ready to let van Dijk "rot on the bench" in an effort to not lose their best player to Liverpool (again). So this situation looks like it will not be resolved any time soon. If it happens, it will be right up against the transfer deadline.
In the meantime, you'd have to think Liverpool are looking for "plan b." That's why we compiled this list of five center backs Liverpool could look to if they don't make any progress moving Virgil van Dijk to Merseyside.
Kolo Toure's out of a contract right now, and he's also really nice! Everyone likes him! He was really good in his last game for Liverpool, the 2016 Europa League final against Sevilla. Last season he played for Celtic, where he became an invincible league winner for the second time in his career. He's got the experience, the smarts, the skills and the attitude. Sign him up, Liverpool!
If you don't think Jamie Carragher has a full Liverpool kit on under his suit when he's analyzing matches for Sky Sports you are probably in the minority. Shin guards and everything. And he'd do it for free, as long as he was allowed to make fun of Steven Gerrard and hang out with Jurgen Klopp outside of training. Like go to pub trivia and stuff.
Any new defender would take some time to really get the hang of Liverpool's defensive and set piece tactics. Klopp, who spent many years as a center back for Mainz in Germany, wouldn't have to take any time to learn the new tactics — he invented them!!! Plus, he already lives in the area and knows his way around the training ground. Double plus, he has relationships with the fans, players and other coaches already. This is already starting to look like the perfect solution.
Liverpool have had just a terrible time defending set pieces in recent seasons. Signing former NBA center Shaquille O'Neal would mitigate these issues because Shaq is very tall. I'd sure like to see Christian Benteke try to outjump him on a corner kick! Shaq is currently mumbling about basketball on TNT, and I bet Liverpool could pick him up for cheap. Shaq is always up for some fun!
A good center back partnership depends on both players knowing where the other is at all times. Whoever was partnered with the refrigerator would always know where the refrigerator was because refrigerators cannot move. You can probably get a refrigerator pretty cheap at Sears. Do they still have Sears?