Liverpool to rival Manchester United for Christian Romero
According to Spanish outlet AS via The Hard Tackle (h/t Liverpool Echo), Liverpool are willing to battle Manchester United for the signature of Christian Romero. The 23-year-old defender spent the last season out on loan at Atalanta but is expected to return to his parent club, Juventus, this summer.
However, it seems that his season in Bergamo has caught the eye of the English big boys. The Reds are willing to offer as much as £43million for the centre-back in a bid to beat the Red Devils for his services. However, this move does not seem like it’s worth it for Liverpool to pursue right now, and we find out why.
How many more defenders?
Liverpool had an unprecedented injury crisis at the back last season, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all suffering season-ending injuries at one point or the other. Things got so tough that captain Jordan Henderson had to deputize at centre-back along with Fabinho, another midfielder.
By the end of the season, Liverpool saw Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams emerge from the shadows to guide Liverpool to a top-4 finish. In this process, the club basically discovered two more centre-backs that they can trust to rotate at times, at least in the cup games as the senior centre-backs are all set to return.
With Liverpool having van Dijk, Gomez, and Matip back from injuries, they will have a stacked defensive line considering Phillips and Williams could also vie for starts. The Reds also have Ben Davies in their ranks, who was signed earlier this year from Preston North End as the Reds looked for cover.
With Klopp never once playing a formation with three centre-backs this season, the number of centre-backs they originally had was enough to provide ample cover and depth. But the Reds, for good measure, went out and splashed a cool £36million on RB Leipzig’s up-and-coming starlet, Ibrahima Konate.
No need for Christian Romero
Now, with Liverpool so stacked at the back, is there any need to add more players there? If things go south like last season, Fabinho is an able replacement to play in defence as well. And considering the amount that Liverpool are ready to splash on Romero, it makes no sense for considering the position doesn’t seem like it needs strengthening.
None of Jurgen Klopp’s centre-backs are 30 years old or above, which shows there’s no urgency to look for anyone’s direct replacement as long as they stay at the club. Moreover, the Reds look like they need strengthening elsewhere instead of signing another defender to further increase their squad size.
A striker to compete with Roberto Firmino, a backup winger for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, especially when they leave for AFCON in 2022, as well as a midfielder to replace Georginio Wijnaldum seem more important.
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And according to ESPN, the Reds have a £50million transfer budget (excluding the future sale of players). So it’s best they utilize it in a way that strengthens the squad in areas that actually need solidifying.