Liverpool: Van Dijk, Schmeichel among top 5 January transfer targets

Published 12/28/2016, 8:07 AM EST

Liverpool have had a strong first half showing in the 2016-17 Premier League season so far, sitting six points behind leaders Chelsea in second place after 18 matches played.

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Manager Jurgen Klopp has managed to get his team to play intensive high pressure football with terrific results, and with no European football in the way, it seems like Liverpool might actually stand a chance of winning the league this year.

Despite all the positives, there have been some clear deficiencies in the team, especially in the defensive positions. Based on news reports online and other rumours, here are the top 5 Liverpool January transfer targets in our opinion:

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Virgil van Dijk (Southampton)

Virgil van Dijk has 7 clean-sheets in 17 appearances this season.

The 25-year-old centre-back has been a permanent fixture in the Southampton back four since joining the club from Celtic in 2015. He signed a new six-year deal in July 2016 after a strong first season showing and his consistent displays in the Premier League have turned him into one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League.

Liverpool have struggled at the centre of defence this season, with injuries to summer signing Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren forcing Jurgen Klopp to play Lucas Leiva as a make-shift defender. Van Dijk would be the perfect defender to provide them the defensive solidity they require to make a tilt at the Premier League title in 2017 although his bosses at Southampton don’t plan on selling him any time soon.

And not to forget the attention from all the other clubs in the league, which will surely drive up his price (expected £40m).

Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)

Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel would be a suitable replacement for Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet.

Leicester City’s Danish keeper has emerged as a surprise target for Liverpool as they seek to find a confident man between the sticks. The 30-year-old won a Premier League medal with the Foxes earlier this year after a magnificent season, which saw him start all 38 games and keep 15 clean-sheets.

The need for a new goalkeeper has stemmed from Loris Karius’ poor form since his summer move to Anfield and also the general lack of faith Klopp has in Simon Mignolet, who has been pretty erratic in the past. While Schmeichel might be a slightly expensive gamble (around £20m) for Liverpool, they might be able to convince him to join Anfield in January due to Leicester City’s poor start to the first half of the season.

Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)

18-year-old Christian Pulisic has already made 11 appearances and scored thrice for the USMNT.

The Reds tried to lure 18-year-old prospect Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund with a £11m in the summer but their advances were rejected by the Bundesliga club. The winger has been deemed ‘not for sale’ by the club’s director but that shouldn’t stop Liverpool from trying again, as their owners FSG are interested in bringing one of the America’s future talents to Anfield.

A high-speed dribbler with a low centre of gravity, Pulisic is a very skillful player. He can play on either side of the pitch and possesses amazing vision, which could add yet another dimension to Liverpool’s attack.

With Sadio Mane heading off to the African Cup of Nations in January, Pulisic could be a very good buy for Liverpool (expected £15-20m).

Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon)

Alexandre Lacazette has 13 goals in as many league games for Lyon this season.

The 25-year-old Frenchman could work out to be the perfect number nine for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, and there has certainly been interest in the Lyon man. One of the most consistent goal scorers in Europe over the past three years, Lacazette would effectively replace the rumoured departee Daniel Sturridge and provide stiff competition to current forwards Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi.

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Since he is one of the most desired forwards in Europe, Lacazette’s price tag is at a cool £60m, which makes the transfer very difficult for Liverpool to pull off.

Jordan Amavi (Aston Villa)

22-year-old Jordan Amavi has already been subjected to a failed £25million bid from Marseille.

Jordan Amavi, a highly rated French left-back, is the latest name to have been linked with a move to Liverpool Football club. The 22-year-old was recently subject to a rejected £25m bid from Marseille and is reportedly on the wishlist of Everton as well.

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A highly rated youth player for the France U-21 team, Amavi had suffered an injury while on international duty in November 2015 but made his comeback to football in the following season, making 17 appearances for Aston Villa in the Championship. His addition to the Liverpool squad would give them a very exciting option at left-back, as an erratic Alberto Moreno and an aging Milner don’t really look like long-term options.

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Dhruv George

13410 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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