25 Feb 2012

€20m Liverpool target admits: It would be 'amazing' to play in England...

Prior to the emergence this season of Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel as a formidable defensive partnership, Liverpool were strongly linked with a January move for Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen. Rumours have cooled in recent months, but the Belgian star has made it clear once again that he has a burning desire to play in the Premier League, which could be good news for Kenny Dalglish if he decides to strength Liverpool's back line in the summer.

At the end of January, Ajax manager Frank De Boer told Eredivisie Live that Vertonghen's exit at the end of this season was a distinct possibility. He said:

"We know that his contract expires in 2013, so it's either renew or relocate to a good foreign club, where Ajax would also benefit from a transfer fee".

Earlier this week, Vertonghen - who has a €20 release clause in his contract - spoke in glowing terms about the Premier League:

"I think my game can be suited to English football. I love the atmosphere and it has the best players in the world. A lot of my colleagues from the national team play here [the Premier League] and some are calling me to come.

"It’s a beautiful competition, the best in my opinion. To play for a team in the Premier League would be amazing and that’s what I am going for".

The Ajax Captain was coy about whether any concrete offers had come in for his services, but he admitted that he was flattered by rumours linking him with the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City:

"I can’t say anything about whether there has been contact about a transfer but It’s flattering to be linked with clubs, the rumours give me confidence but I just try to do my best every game".

Sounds like a blatant 'come and get me' plea if ever I heard one, but the question is, who will win the race for Vertonghen's signature?

Are Liverpool still interested? Irrespective of the form shown by Skrtel and Agger, the club arguably still needs another top-class centre-back, so I hope the club is still keeping an eye on Vertonghen.

I can't quite put my finger on why, but I'm still not 100% convinced that Skrtel-Agger is the right long-term solution for Liverpool. I don't feel the same confidence I did when the likes of Sami Hyypia and a younger Jamie Carragher were patrolling the defence.

IMO, Skrtel is still prone to concentration lapses, and Agger sometimes gets turned quite easily by pacy strikers. In a defensive partnership, I believe you need at least one rock-solid defender who rarely makes mistakes (i.e. Hyypia).

The duo have been excellent for a few months but I still feel something else is needed.

Check out the brilliant piece of skill at 1:42

Jaimie Kanwar

1 comment:

  1. I don't agree that Liverpool need Vertonghen as long as they have Agger. Vertonghen is good ball playing centreback but he makes his share of mistakes too and he can't replace Skrtel as he is left sided centreback, so no point in buying him unless he wants to sit on the bench because he won't start ahead of Agger.
      I was also bit sceptical about Skrtel but I think he has been at his peak this season and he has done really well and definitely been among top 5 centrebacks in the league this season. Coates is there to replace Skrtel and he has looked good.