Possibly another calendar year will pass before Liverpool signs its next Virgil van Dijk’s long-term replacement may well be Ibrahima Konaté or Levi Colwill.


Levi Colwill could become Virgil  Van’s long-term successor but it remains to be seen whether the Chelsea youngster will get the playing time he needs straight away.


After last season’s deficits at Anfield, few could argue with Liverpool’s emphatic response this summer.

After failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in seven years, the Reds wasted no time in welcoming midfield duo Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai to their ranks.


The first deal came as former sporting director Julian Ward was quick to acknowledge and later activate a £35million release clause for Argentine world champion Mac Allister. Weeks later, Ward’s successor Jörg Schmadtke discovered he was carrying out the same due diligence in his native Germany to trigger a similar clause in the contract of RB Leipzig and Hungarian star Szoboszlai, just hours before his expires at the end of last month.

This surgical precision in the transfer market means that when the bulk of Liverpool’s international squad return to the AXA training center on July 11, they will be joined by the latest duo in Reds history, with jerseys no. 8 and #10.


But despite spending £95m so far, there are still a number of tasks left on the checklist Schmadtke received from his predecessor last month when the transfer process was completed at Kirkby. One of them, of course, is the need for defensive reinforcements. Jurgen Klopp currently has five options for the two central positions in Liverpool’s defence. Among these options, which include Nat Phillips despite the interest from abroad, Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk are undoubtedly the pair of choice.

In recent weeks, Wolfsburg’s Micky Van de Ven and Chelsea’s Levi Colwill have been two names linked with a summer move to Anfield. although it was reported that the former verbally agreed to a deal at Tottenham Hotspur. Meanwhile, new Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino is planning talks with Colwill, who has already been the subject of a record-breaking offer from Brighton & Hove Albion this summer. At first glance, Liverpool’s strategy of signing a long-term left-back should seem straightforward, right? Not exactly. A closer look at Klopp’s squad composition highlights the difficult position the Reds find themselves in this summer as they search for Van Dijk’s long-term successor at Anfield.

Even at 32, it would be unfair to write off the Dutchman after his first sub-par season since he joined the club in January 2018 for £75m. new vice-captain following the departure of James Milner and hopes to lead the club’s return to the Champions League in 2023-24. On the other hand, Konate’s athleticism and frontal approach has seen him consistently leapfrog Joel Matip in the defensive pecking order over the past 12 months. Konate’s spirited performances late in the last campaign made him a vital part of the new back three system, with his profile allowing him to fill the position vacated by Trent Alexander-Arnold with ease.

But with former Cameroon international Matip likely to be out for the final year of his contract, Liverpool’s purchase of a centre-back for the coming years this summer appears to have left them in a difficult position.

Ideally, a defender with a similar profile to Konate’s would be targeted in 2021: someone who likes to wait on short notice, but who also has an extremely high ceiling for the future. It’s all for all these reasons that the £36million deal to sign the French international from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig two years ago is today seen as one of the shrewdest signings of Klopp’s reign at Liverpool. Take Colwill, for example. Having started 13 Premier League games on loan at Brighton last season and secured Europa League qualification, it’s hard to imagine him surpassing that number at Anfield this season if Chelsea did the unthinkable and had the idea of ​​selling the 20 year old. years

Having recently been at the heart of the England defence, which has kept six consecutive clean sheets and raced to glory at the European Under-21 Championship, Colwill’s next task will surely be to rack up as many appearances. in the Premier League as possible in order to earn his place in Gareth Southgate’s senior squad at Euro 2024.

However, if we fast forward twelve months, the prospect of a move to Anfield would certainly be easier for promising talents like Colwill ready to take the next step in their careers. In theory, at the age of 33 and on a one-year contract, it wouldn’t be surprising if Van Dijk’s glorious career at Liverpool came to a slow end. Even at this stage, the Reds are reportedly looking for a ready-made defender to fit into their ranks alongside Konate, rather than signing him for the clumsy backup role. For now, however, Klopp, Schmadtke and company must devise a new plan to future-proof their defensive ranks for the weeks, months and years ahead at Anfield.


Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *