29 Mar 2017

Anfield-bound? Klopp sends Liverpool Reps to watch 'impressive' £30m powerhouse. Contact made already

Southampton are currently Liverpool's go-to club for transfers, but the trend appears to be changing, with the Reds now seemingly focused on picking the bones out of relegation fodder.

Liverpool are currently linked with Burnley defender Michael Keane, and Leicester attacker Demarai Gray, and according to The Mirror this week:

"Liverpool are keeping tabs on Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson [and] the Reds have sent scouts on a regular basis to watch the classy centre half".

The Daily Mail further claims that Liverpool have already contacted Middlesbrough to enquire about the possibility of a transfer.

Some info about £30m-rated Gibson:

* 24-year old centre-back. Contract expires: 2021

* Injury history: None so far. Averages 35 games a season over the last 4 years.

* M'Boro: 143 apps (4 goals/assists)

* Jun 2015: Liverpool reportedly enquired about signing Gibson.

* Nov 2016: Gibson told the Northern Echo: "I’ve always been quite good on the ball. I was a central midfielder coming through the academy, and in my head I’ve always been a ball player".

* Nov 2016: On his leadership ability: "I’m quite vocal, and I’ve always been a talker. I try to organise people and let people know what we demand off each other".

* Dec 2016: Ex-Red Jamie Redknapp enthused: "Ben Gibson has been impressive [this season]. He is a leader of men, and I hope gets an England call-up."

* Mar 2017: Called up the England national team for the first time.

Gibson is certainly the right age to make the step up, and as the highly 'vocal' captain of Middlesbrough, he appears to have leadership ability, a quality in short supply at at Anfield. Is Gibson good enough, though?

Well, consider the following stats:

* Boro are 19th in the Premier League table, with 33 goals conceded.

* Liverpool are 4th in the table, with 36 goals conceded.

The fact that Boro have a better defensive record than Liverpool (an infinitely richer club) is a fantastic achievement for a club that's nailed-on for relegation. What makes it more impressive is that the 3 teams around Boro - Swansea, Hull, and Sunderland - have conceded 63, 58, and 50 goals respectively.

Clearly, Gibson is having an impressive personal impact this season, and if he can help Boro achieve a better defensive record than Liverpool, then he's probably worth a closer look.


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