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22 Dec 2015

Collymore insists: Klopp should dump £38m-duo and sign 'excellent' powerhouse 'for Liverpool'. Agree?

If the Watford proves anything, it's that every area of Liverpool's first team is in serious need of improvement. In my view, every player in the squad is (or should be) expendable, including Liverpool's defenders, who were outmuscled, outfought, and embarrassed on Sunday (and it's not the first time this season). In recent weeks, the Reds have been linked with the likes of Subotic, Hummels, N'Kolous, and Matip, but according to ex-Red Stan Collymore, Jurgen Klopp should consider a player who's a little closer to home.

Speaking on TalkSport over the weekend, Collymore - who formed an absolutely superb strike partnership with Robbie Fowler - urged Klopp to dump Sakho and Lovren (combined cost: £38m), and bring in one of the Premier League's most established defenders:

“Ryan Shawcross, I think he’d do a job for Liverpool. He's a very good player. He’s been rumoured to go back to Manchester United at some stage, but he's local lad".

Liverpool have been linked with Shawcross several times in the past, and over the years, the 28-year old has proven himself to be a top-class Premier League defender.

Indeed, prior to the weekend defeat to Crystal Palace, Stoke went 540 minutes without conceding a single goal with Shawcross in the starting line-up.

Shawcross - reportedly on £45k-a-week - isn't a fashionable player, but like Jamie Carragher, he's a consistent, straightforward, no-nonsense defender, who keeps it simple, and - importantly - is very rarely injured.

Former ref Mark Halsey summed it up this week when he named Shawcross as one of the Premier League's top Captains:

"He [Shawcross] is an excellent leader, and a tough player. You want to see aggression in your centre half, same as you do in your centre forward, but he controls that aggression, and gives 110 per cent."

Liverpool lack true warrior spirit in the ranks, and Shawcross - who is also Stoke's captain - is a tough, intimidating presence who'd instantly enhance the physicality and fighting spirit of the team.

Personally, I'd take Shawcross over both Sakho/Lovren in a New York minute.

I'm a fan of Martin Skrtel (Liverpool's most effective defender for years), but he's 31, and LFC need to start thinking about his long-term replacement.

There are lots of good options out there, but Klopp could do a lot worse than the ultra-reliable Shawcross, who's missed just 16 games through injury in the last ten years.

Author: Jaimie K


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