Liverpool FC

Every defender linked with Liverpool in January - ranked

Jan 3, 2021, 3:45 PM GMT
Jules Kounde
Kounde is a potential Liverpool centre-back target for January | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

It is truly remarkable that Liverpool are still top of the Premier League table and primed to defend their title, even though they've been pulling kids off Stanley Park and sticking them at the heart of their defence for the past two months.

The Reds' treatment room is currently packed to the rafters, with a key duo occupying two of the hospital beds for the remainder of the season.

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No, it's not Forrest Gump and Lieutenant Dan, but Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. The two centre-backs have both suffered long-term knee injuries, which are expected to keep the pair out of action until the new campaign rolls around.

With Manchester United breathing down their necks, this simply won't do. Luckily, we've reached January, a month which gives Jurgen Klopp the chance to regroup and replenish his depleted troops. But which of these ten potential Liverpool targets would be winter wonders, and which would be winter wash-outs?

10. Gleison Bremer - Torino

Bremer is part of a struggling Torino side
Bremer is part of a struggling Torino side | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Gleison Bremer's stock was certainly a lot higher before the 2020/21 season kicked off. Since then, the Brazilian defender has endured a miserable five months with Torino, who sit in the Serie A relegation zone, having conceded 32 goals in the process.

Not the numbers associated with a Liverpool target. But, Andy Robertson was relegated with Hull, Georginio Wijnaldum went down with Newcastle and Xherdan Shaqiri suffered the same fate with Stoke. It's a market Liverpool have dipped into before.

Winter Wonder Rating: 2/10

9. Ozan Kabak - Schalke

Kabak is not enjoying a great season with Schalke
Kabak is not enjoying a great season with Schalke | Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

Copy and paste from above. Another player who has caught the eye of Europe's giants, Ozan Kabak probably wishes he'd made a move in the summer.

Schalke have embarked on one of the worst starts imaginable to a new season, failing to win any of their opening 14 matches, picking up four points. They boast the worst defence by a country mile, shipping 39 goals in that time - almost three goals a game.

Maybe not the man to end Liverpool's defensive frailties, then.

Winter Wonder Rating: 2.5/10

8. David Carmo - Braga

David Carmo is making a name for himself at Braga
David Carmo is making a name for himself at Braga | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

A rather unknown entity, David Carmo stepped up and settled into the Braga team with ease in 2020. However, he is only 20 years old, and his inexperience and ability to keep his head at crucial moments is still to be tested severely.

After all, he did get sent off and sparked a mass brawl in a derby against Vitória, so, you know - he's got a history of these incidents. With a title on the line, there may be safer bets on offer.

Winter Wonder Rating: 4/10

7. Perr Schuurs - Ajax

Schuurs is a sure fire choice for Liverpool
Schuurs is a sure fire choice for Liverpool | ANP Sport/Getty Images

If history has taught us anything, it's that Ajax are pretty good at shaping a top quality player. And recent history tells us that they have produced one of the most promising defenders in recent times in Matthijs de Ligt.

Is Perr Schuurs at De Ligt's level? Nah. Could he be? In a few years, who knows? When you're shopping in the Waitrose of football supermarkets, you tend to get value for money more often than not.

Winter Wonder Rating: 4.5/10

6. Ben White - Brighton

Ben White has continued his fine form for Brighton this season
Ben White has continued his fine form for Brighton this season | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Ben White has enjoyed a prolific rise to the top of English football over the past 18 months. His title winning season with Leeds made him a hero in Yorkshire and he has adapted well to the demands of the Premier League with Brighton.

The young centre-back did sign a new contract with the Seagulls in the summer, and having rejected bids in the region of £30m from the Whites, Liverpool will have to stump up serious cash to land their man. Is he worth it?

Winter Wonder Rating: 5/10

5. Mykola Matviyenko - Shakhtar Donetsk

Matviyenko in action
Matviyenko in action | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Mykola Matviyenko has learnt his trade at dark horses Shakhtar Donetsk all his career, but it might be time for him to make the leap from underdog to powerhouse.

The 24-year-old can play centre-back or left-back, and is extremely comfortable on the ball. He has also been capped 28 times by Ukraine at international level, and has demonstrated his skills on the European stage. He could be a touch pricey, though, and for someone playing in a league with the quality of Ukraine, it's a punt.

Winter Wonder Rating: 5.5/10

4. Sven Botman - Lille

Ro-Botman Wars
Ro-Botman Wars | Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Number four on our list is Sven Botman. The 20-year-old moved to Lille in the summer, and has taken to Ligue 1 football like a duck to water. He has even won more duels than any other defender in the division. Not bad.

However, his lack of experience must plant a seed of doubt in the Reds' minds. Will he stand up and be counted in one of the most high-pressure situations football has to offer - a Premier League title race? It's a risk, but one they may have to take.

Winter Wonder Rating: 7.5/10

3. Pau Torres - Villarreal

A classy operator
A classy operator | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Liverpool fans will hold fond memories of the name Torres, after a certain Fernando tore up the Premier League in their red jersey. Pau Torres is a much different player, but he could enjoy some success of his own.

The 23-year-old has grown to become a regular at international level with Spain, offering six feet and three inches of height, as well as excellent ball-playing abilities. A strong, confident and commanding presence - just what the doctor ordered.

Winter Wonder Rating: 8/10

2. Dayot Upamecano - RB Leipzig

Concentration face
Concentration face | Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

As far as proven pedigree goes, there are few better alternatives than Dayot Upamecano. The 22-year-old has taken every challenge he has faced at RB Leipzig in his stride, and his efforts culminated in a Champions League semi-final finish last year.

Leipzig may have hit their ceiling though, and as with all footballers, Upamecano is surely hoping to unlock another level to his career - and there's no better place to do that than at Anfield.

Winter Wonder Rating: 9/10

1. Jules Kounde - Sevilla

Destined for greatness
Destined for greatness | Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Just get the cheque book out, and tell me where to sign. This is the one for Liverpool. Fast, aggressive and the ultimate modern defender, there is no one better suited to the Reds' style of play or the physicality and pace of the Premier League.

Jules Kounde has pocketed some of the world's best strikers in the past 18 months, and Sevilla's impressive defensive record this year shows his form is no fluke. Young, hungry and full of potential, the French defender is the ideal centre-back to lead Klopp to glory once more. Money is only bits of paper, in the end.

Winter Wonder Rating: 10/10