Top Football Sprots Stories

Klopp could unearth van Dijk heir in Liverpool move for “fearless” 6 ft 1 titan

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp dipped into the market over the course of the summer transfer window to refresh his midfield options ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.

Ryan Gravenberch, Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis Mac Allister, and Wataru Endo all came in to provide the head coach with a fresh injection of quality in the middle of the park.

Szoboszlai, in particular, has been an exceptional addition to the squad and has caught the eye with five ‘big chances’ created and 2.2 key passes per match across 13 Premier League matches.


aurelien-tchouameni-dominik-szoboszlai-liverpool-opinion-1

The Reds have only lost one of their 13 top-flight outings so far this season and are currently two points off Arsenal, who sit at the top of the division.

Klopp’s midfield renovation has paid off so far and, hopefully, it will allow them to compete for silverware at the business end of the campaign.

However, Liverpool could use the January transfer window to look at the mid-to-long-term, rather than just signing players who can make an immediate impact on the pitch.

With this in mind, reported transfer target Lucas Beraldo could be an excellent addition to the squad as the dream long-term heir to Virgil van Dijk‘s position on the left side of the central defensive pairing.

Liverpool transfer news – Lucas Beraldo

It was recently reported by UOL that Liverpool are the favourites to secure a deal for the Sao Paulo centre-back, who is said to have loads of potential.

That came after The Sun claimed that the Reds jetted to Brazil for talks over a possible deal to sign the 20-year-old colossus, who could cost them around £20m.

The report stated that they held talks with the player in an attempt to convince him to make the switch to England to compete within Klopp’s squad.


lucas-beraldo-sao-paulo-premier-league

It was said that Liverpool have been tracking the Brazilian youngster for a number of months and that the head coach would like to bring in a new player in his position, at the heart of the defence, during the January transfer window.

The Sun added that the Premier League side want to get a deal done quickly in order to beat off any potential interest from other European teams, who may also want to compete for his signature over the coming months.

However, it remains to be seen how successful those reported talks were with Beraldo and whether or not he would be interested in a move to Anfield over staying with his current outfit or moving to another European giant.

If Klopp is able to secure a swoop for the exciting youngster, though, then he could land a dream long-term heir to current left-sided defender van Dijk.

Van Dijk’s season in numbers

The Dutch captain has been in typically impressive form throughout the 2023/24 campaign and has led from the back with his dominant defensive displays.

He has started 11 of the club’s 13 league matches and has averaged a superb Sofascore rating of 7.42, which is the second-highest score within the squad – only behind Mohamed Salah.

Statistic

Van Dijk vs Man City

Minutes played

90

Sofascore rating

6.9

Pass accuracy

90%

Duels won

Two

Duels lost

One

Clearances

Three

Van Dijk’s most recent Liverpool performance (via Sofascore)

The towering defender has dominated opposition forwards this season with his intelligent positioning, superb timing, and outstanding physical strength.

Van Dijk has won a staggering 80% of his duels, which includes 81% of his aerial battles, and made 2.5 tackles and interceptions per game. This shows that the impressive titan is able to get the better of his opponent far more often than not to make defensive interventions for his side.

The experienced giant has also showcased an excellent reading of the game with 4.5 ball recoveries per match, which shows that he is able to anticipate passes to go and retrieve possession for his team.


Salah-VanDijk-Liverpool-Premier-League

Despite being a right-footed player, van Dijk is also a reliable passer for Liverpool on the left side of their central defensive partnership with a pass accuracy of 92% in the Premier League this season.

In fact, he ranks within the top 20% of English top-flight centre-backs for progressive passes (4.95) per 90 this term, which shows that the Netherlands international is a forward-thinking defender who can progress the play in possession with his line-breaking passes into midfield.

However, van Dijk turns 33 before the start of the 2024/25 campaign and that is why Liverpool may have one eye on the future and who they could have in his position in the long-term.

The statistics that show why Beraldo could be van Dijk’s heir

The £20m Reds target could be signed as the eventual heir to the Dutchman’s throne on the left of the defence given his impressive start to life in first-team football with Sao Paulo.

Despite being 20 – and 12 years younger than van Dijk – the 6 foot 1 centre-back has enjoyed an excellent year and has displayed his impressive defensive qualities.

The 20-year-old titan has made 2.1 tackles and interceptions along with six ball recoveries per match across 21 Serie A outings for his club throughout 2023. This shows that he has the ability to win possession for his side frequently throughout games in the same way that the Liverpool skipper has been able to this term.

However, Beraldo, who has plenty of time left on his hands to develop and improve, has only won 58% of his duels and this is an area in which he could need to improve to reach van Dijk’s level of defensive dominance.

In possession, the Brazilian colossus, lauded by talent scout Jacek Kulig above, is a forward-thinking passer who could slot in at the back to offer a natural left-footed outlet to progress the ball through the thirds.

He ranks within the top 8% of Serie A centre-backs for progressive passes (5.57) per 90 this season and this shows that Beraldo is superb on the ball and likes to break lines and find teammates in advanced positions, rather than being regressive and looking backwards.

Overall, the young enforcer appears to have the basic qualities defensively and in possession to be an exciting signing for Liverpool as their dream long-term heir to van Dijk.

There is no guarantee that he would be able to adapt to English football or progress with more experience at the top level but the evidence available suggests that it is worth a gamble at £20m.


#Klopp #unearth #van #Dijk #heir #Liverpool #move #fearless #titan

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

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

Back to top button