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Van Dijk alternatives The Van Dijk saga looks like it’s going to go on and on this summer, perhaps even until deadline day. Liverpool are in a strange situation for this deal, having publicly ???ended our interest’ in the centre back in what was an embarrassing PR disaster. This occurred after Southampton called Liverpool out over an illegal approach for the Dutchman. Even though it is reported that the defender only wants to play for Jurgens Red’s and has even been left out of their training camp squad It would be very awkward for the club to publicly backtrack on the official statement they made earlier in the window. This transfer window has been absolutely bonkers in terms of predicting transfer fees, when half decent full backs are going for £50/60m it has become increasingly difficult to predict fees for players. As a result, I will not try predicting how much these players will go for, but I have cited transfermarkt for each of the targets as a starting point. In the comments, let me know how much you think they would be worth in this market.  Kalidou Koulibaly Age: 26                                      Value: £25.50m (transfermarkt) Team: Napoli                         Nationality: Senegal Koulibaly is a highly rated centre-back that plays for Napoli. He is tall, strong and loves a good tackle. With that, comes the problem of potentially getting himself into trouble especially in the big games. The main argument against him is that he is 26, which might be slightly too old for the FSG transfer policy. The premier league is a physical, high tempo league and with Koulibalys physicality it stands to reason he would fit right in. If we did sign him though, due to him coming from the much slower nature of Italian football it may take him a few games to get up to speed but once he is there he should do well. Stefan De Vrij Age: 25                    Value: £22.95m (transfermarkt) Team: Lazio                            Nationality: Netherlands De Vrij has been hotly tipped to be the 2nd choice after Van Dijk if you believe the papers. The pair play alongside each other for the Netherlands so that might just be the easy link to make. However, I would argue he would be a good option to play alongside Joel Matip. De Vrij’s strengths are his ability to intercept and read the play. If you have Matip going into headers with his height and strength, then have De Vrij mopping up around him it is the makings of a classic centre back partnership. He is on the edge of being too old, but 25 is just young enough for him to develop and increase his value which is what FSG ultimately are trying to do. That, combined with his name being linked with Liverpool consistently as our backup option, I see this as a likely option that the reds could peruse. Jonathan Tah Age: 21                                      Value: £18.70m (transfermarkt) Team: Bayer Leverkusen Nationality: Germany Jonathan Tah is young at 21, giving him time on his side but at the same time probably making him more expensive for Liverpool to buy. As with a lot of Klopps centre backs, Tah is good on the ball and has the ability to accurately hit a long ball to the forwards if needed. Scouting this player will be easy for Liverpool, as a simple phone call to his ex-boss Sammi Hyppia would do the trick. If signed, Tah has the potential to stay a part of Liverpool’s back line for many years to come. The premium price that could be slapped on his young shoulders may put us off though. The deal, if made, would cause a few eyebrows to raise as we have not been linked with the defender so it would come out of the blue. If it does happen, expect him to do well in a red shirt. Matthijis De Ligt Age: 17                                      Value: £4.25 (transfermarket) Team: AFC Ajax                     Nationality: Netherlandas Going even younger now as this defender is not even able to go out to town. At 17 years old, De Ligt is the youngest player on this list and would also be the biggest risk. He is young and lacks experience but has shown promise in the young Ajax team that made it all the way to the final of the Europa League last season. Due to the kids age though I do not see him slotting in the team ahead of Dejan Lovren just yet, which is what I think we are looking for this season. He would be a target to keep an eye on, see how he develops and maybe pick him up in a year or two, but not now.
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