Former Liverpool forward John Barnes claims that Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly is the only player Liverpool would consider signing in the January transfer window.
Barnes says that Koulibaly could improve Liverpool’s defence and slot in next to Virgil van Dijk at the back and claims that it would be easy to talk him into signing for the club.
He goes on to say that Liverpool should not sign a player for the sake of it, which is why he believes Koulibaly is the only option for them in the winter.
Speaking to Bonus Code Bets, as transcribed by Football 365, Barnes offered his thoughts on what Liverpool should do in January. “If Koulibaly comes, he’s a player that could play alongside Van Dijk when he returns so it would be easy to talk Koulibaly into joining Liverpool, unlike some other top players because he’s a person that if he comes would go straight into the first team and play every match.
“Aside from Koulibaly, I don’t think there’s anyone out there that Liverpool would look to get in January.
“If Liverpool are unable to get anyone to improve the first team then why sign a new player?”
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
With Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk likely to miss the majority of the campaign through knee injuries, it is no shock to see Liverpool linked with centre-backs ahead of the January transfer window. Whilst Koulibaly is a top-class defender in his own right, recent performances from players already at the club could tempt Jurgen Klopp into sticking with what he has. Koulibaly has averaged a WhoScored rating of 6.88 in the Serie A, after scoring 6.72 last season in the league, which does show that he has the quality Barnes is alluding to.
Nat Phillips has stepped up and been excellent in his two Premier League performances, showing that he could be a viable option at centre-back until Gomez and/or van Dijk return. He recorded impressive WhoScored ratings of 6.91 and 7.57 against West Ham and Brighton respectively – with Liverpool conceding just twice in those games. His performance against Brighton was particularly eye-catching, as he won eight aerial battles, four tackles, two interceptions and made four clearances and a block at the back. This shows that he has what it takes to be a solid defender for the Reds and could mean that they do not need to dip into the transfer market.