“If he is the one they wanted next summer, then bring it forward. Pay the extra money and do it on January 1st”.
Jamie Carragher has his say on Liverpool needing to find cover for Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool’s first test without Virgil van Dijk comes in Amsterdam when they take on Ajax but with the defender set to miss much of the season, all eyes will be on the trio of Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, and Fabinho over the coming months as they look to fill the void.
Prior to the start of the season, Liverpool were already depleted in the centre-back position after they sold Dejan Lovren to Zenit St. Petersburg and decided not to replace the Croatian international.
However, speaking on Monday Night Football, Jamie Carragher said that Klopp already has a long-term target in mind that he’s looking to sign, Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.
During his most recent appearance on Monday Night Football, Carragher believes that Liverpool were earmarking the French international for a potential summer move to Anfield but that the deal should now be done in January, due to van Dijk’s injury.
While Klopp has tended to resist making rash signings in the past, Carragher believes the champions need an experienced central defender as soon as possible.
“Liverpool’s next big signing had to be a centre-back anyway and I am talking next summer. Dejan Lovren went and they didn’t replace him so they only have three centre-backs and one of those, Joel Matip, is always injured. There are question marks now about Joe Gomez. There is no doubt that Liverpool had to go big in the transfer market next summer. That was the next one.
“That has now got to be brought forward to January 1st, whoever the target was in the summer. Not at the end of January. There is a young guy everyone is talking about at Leipzig, Dayot Upamecano. He’s not the profile of van Dijk- I think he is only 6’1″ or 6’2″ – so he’s maybe not that aerial challenger but if he is the one they wanted next summer, then bring it forward. Pay extra money and do it on January 1st”.
If Liverpool are serious about pursuing Upamecano, they’ll need to fend off interest from some of Europe’s big spenders with Real Madrid and Manchester United linked with the defender too.
However, his current contract means that he can leave RB Leipzig for £38 million next summer.
You can view Jamie Carragher’s comments on Van Dijk and Upamecano below.
Jimmy 🗣 "Find a centre-half. Chelsea have been looking"
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 19, 2020