Liverpool are currently going through a strange, but very serious injury crisis. The Reds have a host of players out as Coutinho and Lovren joined the list after coming off prematurely against Stoke City. Bar Kolo Toure, who also looked to have had an injury issue at the end of the game, Liverpool don’t have a single fit centre-back which is obviously a big problem. Reinforcements look like a necessity at the moment and if Klopp has ambitions for the side, it is likely that the Reds will dip in the market.
Here are three cut-pirce players Klopp should target to challenge for a top 4 finish/
The Marseille centre-back will be out of contract in the summer and could therefore be prized away from the French club for cheap. N’Koulou is a reliable centre-back who can add a lot of steel and assurance at the back. He has the physicality one expects from a centre back and the fact that he also possesses pace and ability to accelerate quickly only makes him a more attractive prospect. He is an intelligent player and someone who can really add a wealth of solidity to a very shaky Liverpool defence.
it is unlikely that Marseille will part with him — or Mandanda — midway this season but considering the circumstances, Liverpool must make an attempt to get him especially since Marseille’s financial problems could force them to part with the Cameroonian.
It makes sense for Liverpool to be looking at options this winter as even without their present depleted squad (due to injuries), Nathaniel Clyne has no first-team back-up in his position. Considering the busy schedule and amount of games Liverpool could be involved with (given they are still alive in every cup competition), the workload on Clyne could be tremendous as he has no cover.
Leeds United’s Sam Byram has been scouted by a number of Premier League clubs this season. The player, despite being 22, has over 130 appearances for Leeds since making his debut for the club at the start of 2012/13 season. The 22-year-old is a versatile player who can operate at both right back, as well as ahead in the winger role. He has been highly rated ever since he broke into the first team. His vision and intelligence stand out well as he can pick out good passes as well as crosses. He is arguably better going forward and on the ball than Clyne, who has not shown much attacking prowess in his time at Liverpool so far.
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 6, 2016
Byram has been involved in a contract dispute with his club as he becomes a free agent in the summer and the club naturally want him to sign a new contract so as to avoid losing him for cheap. Leeds’ manager Steve Evans admitted there are four or five Premier League clubs interested in the player, which doesn’t come as a big surprise when you take in account his quality. Liverpool could land the player for as little as £7 million if they make a move quickly.
Sky Sports claims that Liverpool “are interested” in signing Schalke centre-back Joel Matip. The German side are said to be keen to hold on to the Cameroon international but the player’s contract also expires in June and Sky claim Klopp is an admirer of the Schalke man.
The 24 year old is close to making 200 appearances for Schalke having made his debut for the club at the age of 18. He is primarily a centre-back but his ball-playing abilities — which add more to his game considering he can help in transition from defence to attack — mean that he can also slot in as a defensive midfielder if need be. Matip averages an impressive 3.3 interceptions and 1.5 tackles every 90 minutes.
Schalke are said to be keen on not losing the defender in this window and there is some talk of Liverpool wanting to sign a pre-contract with the player and land him in the summer. It would still be a good move for the Reds at the end of the season as Matip could be an ideal replacement for the outgoing Kolo Toure and add to the quality in depth, but considering the current defensive conundrum at Liverpool, perhaps Klopp needs to push harder to bring the Schalke man to Anfield in this month.