Liverpool to make massive defensive changes this summer?

Ding ding, seconds out! round two of the sizzling summer LFC transfer speculations and this time it's a possible defensive upgrade(?) we're being linked with.

Do we even need to make any defensive changes? You're dog damn right we do because currently we're carrying a load of perpetual sicknotes who cannot be relied upon to get us through a season. We have one, yes I repeat one good centre back and two good full backs. That's it, end of, finito, and I don't want to hear any arguments to the contrary. We have just witnessed how our lack of reliable defenders can, and will again, leave us in a right old points haemorrhaging pickle. Anyone who thinks the likes of Matip and Gomez are going to suddenly become more robust and reliable next season are only kidding themselves.

It's time to get shot of a few players this summer. Matip is too injury prone and lightweight and Gomez is just too injury prone. Then we have Dejan chuffin Lovren who is also not the best - injury or talent wise. Moreno? yes, similar to Mignolet he exists, therefore he is and probably always will be but a good football player, I think not. So that just leaves us Virgil Christ, Andy best in the universe Robertson and Trent double A to the max. That is a great start to a defensive unit but clearly we need to add to it. Step forward Dutchman Matthijs de Ligt. He's from Ajax... where do we sign.

Yes an impressive pedigree and one that has served us well in the past. I will probably miss someone but of those who immediately spring to mind, Dirk Kuyt or Duracell Dirk as I like to call him, came to us via Ajax, a certain Mr L Suarez followed suit and more recently we have said to Ajax, 'we don't mind now, just send us Hoever.' Boom tish!, it's the way I tell 'em... taxi!!

So other than his current club being a good omen for us, what else could Matthijs bring to the table? Let's take a look and find out.

Okay, so I know what you're all thinking, and yes his hair isn't perhaps up to our usual exacting standards but at just 19 years of age it is something he can work on and as an added bonus he does look to be quite good at football - tipped by some to be the world's future best centre back. I am not sure whether that is jumping the gun a little but apart from the hair he does have all the right attributes. 1.89M tall, solidly built, pretty decent turn of pace, good ball control, reads the game well; good in the air and a great tackler. Scores a few too, so far this season, two in the Eredivisie and one in the Champions League, plus a couple of assists to boot.

So not too shabby already and with huge potential. Looking at his age though he would seem to be a direct replacement for Gomez and whether he is any better I really don't know. We can however compare their injury records. I think it's best to use days out of action rather than games missed as the different leagues and cups they play in will mean differing amounts of games over each of their respective seasons. Total days out of action due to injury for Matthijs, for all of last season and this one to date are 20 (11/9) and the same time frame for Joe has seen him unavailable for 152 days (28/54/70).

Now Joe has been unlucky there's no doubt about it, very unlucky in fact and his latest injury is in no way down to fragility. When you read his injury list since joining us though it is concerning. Working backwards: fractured leg, ankle surgery, ankle injury, achilles tendon problem, cruciate ligament Injury. That adds up to 514 days out. For Matthijs, I only have records back to and including 16/17 but his injuries are knee problem, thigh problem and both only causing absence for the 20 days listed above which to me suggests normal run of the mill knocks/muscle strains. A few things seem clear then, Gomez is injury prone and his injuries seem to generally be more complex and require a lot of time out. Matthijs on the other hand has a significantly more robust record.

Matthijs' current market value is £58million and due to his massive potential, value to Ajax's team and there surely being many clubs interested in acquiring his services, it would not be an easy deal to get done but if we could then I would be all for it. I believe we need to be pretty ruthless from now on and it's no good kidding ourselves regards our player's injury records. Nor is it a good idea to let sentiment cloud our judgement in such matters. Joe is injury prone and so is Matip. In my view one or both of them need to be replaced and Matthijs would be a great choice to bring in. Lovren also is not of the level we need to be our main defensive partner to Virgil, Matthijs though, just might be.
Powered by Blogger.