Liverpool are closely monitoring the situation around the Germany and Bayern Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah, according to reports
Sportbild suggests that the Merseyside giants remain interested in signing the 20-year-old powerful centre-back (who can also play at right-back) and have been scouting since Jurgen Klopp in charge.
The player’s stock is rising. He’s among the Bundesliga’s best defenders and likened to the great Jerome Boateng—impressive for a lad who only turned 20 in February.
It’s easy to see how Tah is comparable to Bayern Munich star. Both players spent their early years at Hamburg and have similar skill sets. Despite his youth, according to Transfermarkt, Tah, at 1.94 meters, is actually two centimeters taller than Boateng; he is built like a tank, and his physical strength and aerial prowess are obvious assets.
Yet like Boateng, he is more than just an athlete. Tah, nicknamed ‘The Battleship,’ has a good touch, he is not shy to get involved in the passing game and is impressively two-footed.
Tah’s potential has long been known. Even as a 16-year-old, Arsenal and Manchester United had eyes on him; according to Metro, the Red Devils even made an approach for him in 2012. His name again appeared in the British press in early 2014, following a dispute over a contract extension he’d signed at HSV. The Daily Mail reported that Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and United were keen to swoop for the defender.
It was a logical step as the player had emerged as a first-team player at Hamburg at just 17 years of age. Yet his situation in his hometown was becoming toxic. Not only were the club struggling for survival in the Bundesliga but a dispute as to the validity of a contract extension he signed—which turned out to be longer than FIFA statutes allow for underage players—effectively ended his time at Hamburg. After Round 19 of the 2013-14 Bundesliga season, he was demoted to the reserves.
Leverkusen managed to tie down Tah until 2020, but if the center-back continues to impress, particularly at this summer’s Olympics, they could soon receive an offer they can’t refuse. Still so young and with so much talent waiting to be tapped, the sky is the limit for Tah, who is rated at around £25m.