4 Aug 2016

Contact Made: Liverpool make surprise offer for 'top-class' £52k-a-week international. Done Deal next week?

With pre-season injuries disrupting the progress of Mamadou Sakho, Joe Gomez, and Joel Matip, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp reportedly remains in the market for yet another centre-back, and Barcelona sicknote Thomas Vermaelen appears to on the manager's list of potential recruits.

In April, Sky Sports claimed that Liverpool were considering a 'formal' offer for Vermaelen, and according to Spanish newspaper AS today:

"Vermaelen has two offers on the table. One from Italy, and the other is from Liverpool. The Belgian [has] decided to take a week to assess the options".

I've just double-checked the calendar, and April 1st was over over three months ago, so this must be some kind of sick joke. Vermaelen is one of Europe's most consistently injured players:

* 722 days missed through injury over the last five seasons (Averages close to 5 months out injured every season)

* 146 games missed since 2011/12 (For Arsenal and Barcelona).

* Barcelona: 64 games missed over the last two seasons.

* Averages 24 appearances per year over the last 5 seasons.

Vermaelen - described by Luis Enrique as a 'top-class' player - is rarely fit enough to play consecutive games, so it's not even worth having him as a stop-gap squad option; the Reds are better off blooding Andre Wisdom, who - for the most part - appears to be a solid defender.

In a season with a drastically reduced fixture list, I just don't see the point in spending money on yet another back-up defender when there are good options available in the Academy.

This kind of situation (i.e. injury cover) is precisely what the Academy is for, but signing Vermaelen will constitute a giant vote of no-confidence in Wisdom (and Tiago Ilori). In such circumstances, why should Wisdom et al bother to stay at the club?

^ Reportedly on £52k-a-week


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