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Liverpool signing this top-class 25-year-old La Liga star would be a great long-term boost at the back

Jose Gimenez was one of the key players for Atletico Madrid until he got injured (Getty Images)
Jose Gimenez was one of the key players for Atletico Madrid until he got injured (Getty Images)

Why Liverpool signing Jose Gimenez would be a massive boost

Back in March, a report from AS had mentioned Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez among the potential targets for Liverpool ahead of the summer window. RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni were also understood to be on the Reds’ shortlist to replace Dejan Lovren.

Liverpool enjoyed a productive transfer window, with Thiago, Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas all coming through the door at Anfield to boost squad depth in crucial areas. However, the Reds were unsuccessful in their efforts to bring in a new centre-back before the deadline.

Profile

Jose Gimenez started his professional career with Danubio in the Uruguayan top-flight before completing a move to Europe with Atletico Madrid. After featuring only thrice in all competitions during his debut season, the centre-back established himself as a key cog in the club’s backline in the following campaign.

Atletico Madrid’s Uruguayan defender Jose Gimenez (L) vies with Bayer Leverkusen’s German midfielder Nadiem Amiri during the UEFA Champions League Group D football match between Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on October 22, 2019. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

The 25-year-old has evolved into one of the most coveted defenders over the past few years, not only in the La Liga but also across the continent. Gimenez racked up 194 appearances for the Rojiblancos in all competitions, scoring 9 goals and providing 8 assists in the process.

The Uruguayan’s illustrious spell at the Wanda Metropolitano has also been marked by a host of silverware. Gimenez won the 2017-18 Europa League and 2018 UEFA Super Cup with Atletico, having previously suffered heartbreak against Real Madrid in the Champions League final on two occasions. 

A full international for Uruguay since 2013, Gimenez has amassed 59 caps for his nation so far, representing them at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups, as well as in three editions of the Copa America. 

Gimenez would be a top quality addition to the Reds’ backline

Liverpool went into the 2020-21 campaign somewhat light in their options at the heart of the defence following the departure of Dejan Lovren to Zenit St. Petersburg in the summer. And recent injuries to Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk have dealt a massive blow to Liverpool’s hopes of retaining the Premier League title. 

PAMPLONA, SPAIN – JUNE 17: Jose Gimenez of Atletico de Madrid reacts during the Liga match between CA Osasuna and Club Atletico de Madrid at El Sadar on June 17, 2020 in Pamplona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

The Reds currently find themselves reduced to bare bones in the centre-back department after being hit by a wave of injuries. With Van Dijk potentially out for the season and Gomez also set to miss several months of action, Jurgen Klopp will definitely need to dip into the January market for defensive reinforcements. 

Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams have both done a decent job in recent fixtures but it would certainly be a huge gamble for Liverpool to rely on unproven youngsters against quality opposition over a prolonged period.

To put things into perspective, the Reds should pull off an audacious raid on Atletico Madrid for Jose Gimenez in January. 

It’s hard to believe the vastly-experienced Uruguayan is still only 25, as he has been around for a very long time. Gimenez already boasts an enviable CV for a player of his age, having made close to 200 appearances for Atletico in all competitions. Besides his numerous exploits on the club front, the defender has also been a mainstay for Uruguay at the international level, featuring in several major tournaments. 

Atletico Madrid’s Uruguayan defender Jose Gimenez (L) vies with Lokomotiv Moscow’s Polish midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak (R) during the UEFA Champions League Group D football match between Lokomotiv Moscow and Atletico Madrid, at RZD Arena in Moscow on October 1, 2019. (Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Verdict

Liverpool should look for a long-term defensive solution in January rather than spending money on a temporary fix. With Van Dijk, Gomez and Joel Matip all very much a part of the club’s plans moving forward, the Reds need to make sure that whoever comes through the door has the calibre to compete with the existing defenders at Anfield. 

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Profiled as a centre-back who is commanding in the air and good with the ball at his feet, Jose Gimenez certainly ticks plenty of boxes to thrive under Jurgen Klopp. In fact, the 25-year-old could well be an instant upgrade on the likes of Matip and Gomez, potentially allowing him to walk straight into the starting XI alongside Van Dijk in the coming seasons.

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