Liverpool have been in desperate, desperate need of centre-backs this season.
It might be easy to poke fun at the Premier League champions on the back of a fifth consecutive Anfield defeat, but it’s critical that their shortcomings are framed within their unique context.
Besides, not only are the Reds wading through the most unprecedented season in Premier League history, but one in which their first-team squad has been ravaged with injuries.
Liverpool’s centre-back crisis
It’s an unenviable situation for Jurgen Klopp that has only been perpetuated by the fact an alarming amount of those knocks have happened to players who ply their trade in central defence.
A few eyebrows were raised when Liverpool depleted their centre-back ranks by selling Dejan Lovren last summer and one can’t help feeling that their decision has come back to bite.
With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez nursing long-term injuries, while Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip have also been crocked, the champions were forced to turn to the transfer window.
Potential centre-back signings
And although the purchases of Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies have papered over the cracks in the short-term, Kopites remain unconvinced about their long-term prospects on Merseyside.
As such, even with Gomez and Van Dijk well on their way to recovery, there’s good reason to think that Liverpool will look to procure a centre-back with more world-class pedigree in the summer.
And one name that is never too far away from the Liverpool rumour mill is Kalidou Koulibaly.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Napoli enforcer is linked with a Premier League switch every ten seconds, but 2020 saw him fight for a move away from Serie A more than ever.
‘Interested’ in Kalidou Koulibaly
And with Koulibaly’s team potentially poised to fight even harder this time around, Liverpool could be open to a stunning move for the 29-year-old as far as Christian Falk is concerned.
The revered reporter, who writes for Sport Bild in Germany, revealed on Friday that claims Liverpool are ‘interested’ in a move for Koulibaly are indeed ‘true’.
And although Falk left us hanging in terms of further information on Liverpool’s interest, he did rule out one of the Reds’ rivals for Koulibaly, who is valued at £54 million on Transfermarkt.
That’s because Falk dismissed claims that Bayern Munich made an offer for Koulibaly and claimed that they would not be making a move for the Senegalese international in the summer.
Potential Van Dijk partner
Truth be told, that makes plenty of sense when you consider Bayern recently wrapped up a move for RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano, thus leaving the door open for Liverpool to pounce.
Now, it remains to be seen whether Liverpool will act on their interest in Koulibaly or not, but I’m sure there are plenty of Kopites who would love to see him playing alongside Van Dijk.
Then again, given the centre-back curse that seems to be hovering above Anfield right now, you’d forgive Liverpool fans for taking any central defenders they can get across 2021.