With the January transfer window fast approaching, Liverpool need a plan in place in the wake of Joel Matip’s season-ending injury.

Liverpool are currently on top of the Premier League table, and they will be hoping to challenge for the title and perhaps go all the way in the competition and win it. However, there are clearly gaps in the squad they will need to plug to beat Arsenal and Manchester City to the title.

Liverpool must look to invest in a quality centre-back in the January transfer window. Joel Matip has been sidelined for the remainder of the season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament, and they cannot hope to go through the second half of the season with Ibrahima Konate, Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez as the only reliable central defenders at the club.

In addition, Konate and Gomez have a dodgy fitness record and Liverpool cannot afford to overuse them. With that in mind, The Hard Tackle looks at five defenders Liverpool should look to target in the upcoming transfer window.

Goncalo Inacio

The 22-year-old Sporting CP defender has been linked with the move to the Premier League recently, and clubs like Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United have been linked with him as well. In addition, Real Madrid have shown interest in him.

The Portuguese international has a €60 million release clause in his contract with Sporting CP, and he could prove to be the ideal acquisition for Liverpool defensively. The 22-year-old is capable of operating as a left-back as well as a central defender.

Liverpool need a versatile central defender like him, and he could be an alternative to Andrew Robertson as well if needed. But beating clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United, and Real Madrid will be an uphill task for the Merseyside outfit.

Jonathan Tah

The 27-year-old German international has made his mark in the Bundesliga over the years, and he could prove to be a quality acquisition for Liverpool. Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham are keeping tabs on him as well.

The 27-year-old has the physicality to succeed in English football, and he could prove to be a solid acquisition. However, Bayer Leverkusen are pushing for their own league’s title themselves, and they are unlikely to sanction his departure in January.

The German international will not cost a bomb, meaning he is an affordable target. But Liverpool might have to wait until the end of the season in order to sign someone like him, considering Bayer Leverkusen’s position in the Bundesliga standings.

Tah is at the peak of his career right now, and he will want to test himself at the highest level. A move to Liverpool would be a step up in his career, and he would get to showcase his qualities in the Premier League.

Lucas Beraldo

The 20-year-old Brazilian defender is highly rated in South America, and he has been linked with a number of clubs in the Premier League. With the seasons in the Brazilian Serie A lasting a calendar year, January moves for players in the league is a straightforward task.

There is no doubt that Beraldo is a prodigious young talent with a big future ahead of him. But he is an unproven option, and Liverpool need someone who can come in and hit the ground running in the Premier League.

He would be a solid long-term acquisition for the Reds, and he might even prove to be a bargain in the long run. However, the Merseyside club should look to aim for more established options in European football first.

Maxence Lacroix

The VfL Wolfsburg defender has been on Liverpool’s radar for quite some time. Apparently, manager Jurgen Klopp is an admirer of the Frenchman, and the Reds have been keeping tabs on him this season.

Making a move for Lacroix in January might be sensible, considering Wolfsburg are bang in the middle of the table. The opportunity to join the Premier League club will be an exciting option for him, and the player is likely to be tempted. He could be the ideal replacement for Joel Matip in the short term as well as in the long run.

Jean-Clair Todibo

The 23-year-old French international defender has been linked with clubs like Manchester United and Tottenham in recent weeks. He has been outstanding for French club OGC Nice, and his performances have attracted the attention of the Premier League clubs. He could be a quality alternative to Matip at Liverpool.

The former Barcelona defender has the technical and physical attributes to do well in the Premier League and is likely to improve with coaching and experience. The opportunity to join a big Premier League club can be hard to turn down, and the player is likely to be attracted to the idea of playing at Anfield.

Meanwhile, Todibo will want to establish himself as a regular starter for his country and playing alongside Konate will only boost his chances of doing so for the French national team. But usurping Virgil van Dijk might be difficult.

All four defenders apart from Inacio could be available for reasonable prices in the coming months, and it remains to be seen who Liverpool end up with. They are an attractive destination for most players and would suit their style of play as well.

Lacroix, Todibo, Inacio, Tah and Beraldo are all impressive with the ball at their feet, and their distribution skills from the back make them an ideal replacement for Joel Matip, who was outstanding with his passing from the back.

Comments 1

  1. COLIN LAWLEY says:

    Eddie Howe is an admirer of Lloyd Kelly and is aware of his capabilities as a central or left sided defender. He should seriously consider signing him in the January window and offer Lascelles in player exchange plus a payment of 10 million pounds which they can afford. Lascelles would be able to offer better prospects of cutting out dead ball or crossses into their own penalty area from which Bournemouth have suffered in the past and would be a danger in the opposition box with his heading ability

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