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20 Nov 2015

Replace Sakho? Liverpool chase 'excellent' €15m powerhouse hailed by Wenger as 'one of the best'

With injuries decimating Liverpool's options in defence, Jurgen Klopp is reportedly considering a January move for Marseille centre-half Nicolas N'Koulou.

According to TalkSport this week:

"Liverpool are long-term admirers of N'Koulou and the Merseyside club are keeping tabs on his contract situation in France".

Some info about €15m-rated N'Koulou:

* Right-footed central defender, who can also play as a DM.

* 178 apps for Marseille, and 66 apps for the Cameroon national team.

* Current contract expires in 2016, which means N'Koulou is free to sign a pre-contract agreement in January (it also means he could leave for free next summer).

* 4 defensive errors that led to goals over the last four seasons (averages 1 per season, which is pretty standard for most central defenders, including Sakho).

* Sep 2013: Arsene Wenger hailed N'Koulou' as 'one of the future best five centre-backs in Europe'.

* Aug 2015: His agent claimed: "Nkoulou is underestimated.  When he leaves [Marseille], he will be the most coveted defender of the 2016 summer market".

* Ex-Marseille coach Elie Baup's assessement: "He [N'Koulou] has all the qualities of a top class defender. His passing is top-notch; he reads the game well; anticipates well, and he has excellent timing".

Sakho and Toure are increasingly injury-prone, but at the age of 25, N'Koulou has missed only 9 games through injury in the last seven years, and over the last four years, he's averages a minimum of 41 games per season.

On a free transfer, it's hard to see a downside to this particular deal, though it's more likely that Marseille will try and sell N'Koulou in January in a bid to make some money on the transfer.

Author: Jaimie K


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