22 May 2016

Klopp's Top Target: Liverpool chase record-breaking £31k-a-week Bundesliga 'diamond' who played with Firmino

With Joel Matip already recruited, Liverpool appear to be well covered in the centre-half department, but new reports today suggest that Jurgen Klopp is still not satisfied with his options, and remains in the market for another central defender.

In March, German newspaper Sport-Bild, claimed that Liverpool 'enquired' about Hoffenheim defender Niklas Süle (who played alongside Roberto Firmino from 2013-2015), and according to the Daily Mail today:

"Jurgen Klopp [has] doubts over three of his current centre-halves, and Hoffenheim defender Niklas Sule heads Klopp's [transfer] shortlist".

Some info about 20-year old Süle:

* 6'4 central defender. Current contract expires: 2019. Reportedly on £31k-a-week at Hoffenheim.

* 83 apps for Hoffenheim. 39 apps for various Germany youth teams.

* Scouting Report from UEFA.com: "A towering presence. Strong in the air. Immobile at times and recently admitted to focusing more on his diet in a bid to be more agile".

* Nov 2013: Broke David Alaba's record to become Hoffenheim's youngest top-flight goalscorer.

* Dec 2014: Suffered an ACL injury and spent eight months on the sidelines.

* Dec 2015: Hoffenheim general manager Alexander Rosen enthused: "Niklas has already proven that he is a real raw diamond. In recent months he has also shown what a great attitude he has despite still being so young".

* Mar 2016: When asked about a possible move to England, Sule told reporters: "England is sometimes appealing because the physical style of play suits me."

Klopp recently hinted at a defensive overhaul this summer, and if recent reports are true, then it looks like he may be considering a scorched earth approach: new 'keeper, new central defensive partnership, and a change at left-back.

Is it advisable to make so many changes at once?

A new defensive unit will obviously take time to gel, and with no European football next season, there's literally no margin for error in the league. Liverpool need to start strong, and stay in the race for the top four, and a brand new back four may make it more difficult to achieve that.

In my view, the Reds don't have time for a transitional back-four, and Lovren should (IMO) be retained (as a starter) to ensure a modicum of continuity and stability at the heart of the defence.

Author: Jaimie K

Author: Jaimie K


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