Liverpool are out shopping once more, this time, for a central defender. After an injury that ruled Sebastian Coates out for the rest of the season, Liverpool is desperate for defensive help. Coates picked up a severe knee injury, when he tore his cruciate ligament while playing for Uruguay. His absence from the squad leaves only a handful of options for Brendan Rodgers, who also sent Andre Wisdom out on loan.
Aly Cissokho comes in on loan from Valencia, but with only Daniel Agger and Kolo Toure at his immediate disposal, Rodgers will need to pick up at least one proven centre-back to use during a long Premier League season.
Rodgers and co. have until September 2nd to make something happen, so here are five potential targets for Liverpool:
It’s hard to argue against the value of Neven Subotic, who has excelled at Borussia Dortmund alongside Mats Hummels. Subotic is your standard, reliable centre halve, capable of adapting to any situation and using his physical strength to clear the ball when called upon. No fuss, nothing fancy, and with none of the risks that come with defenders like David Luiz, Subotic would be a starting quality player for Liverpool, but he would also cost more than Rodgers will want to spend.
Bonucci is an Italian international defender who plays alongside two very competent players in Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli at Juventus. As such, he played 35 games last year with Juventus but while his performances have been noteworthy, he hasn’t received the same kind of appreciation as his teammates. If Liverpool can convince Bonucci that a starting spot can be his at Anfield, they might be able to pry him away from the Italian champions. He was also involved in a serious mugging incident in October 2012 and may just prefer a change of climate!
Real Sociedad shocked the world with their fourth-place finish in La Liga last season, and part of that can be attributed to the solid defensive play of 21-year-old Iñigo Martinez. Liverpool have had plenty of success with Spanish players in the past and in Martinez, the club would gain a young and proven defender who could end up flourishing into a starter a la Rafael Varane. Splash the cash and spend now for a long term option, because Martinez might just be the best player of the bunch in a few years.
It’s high time Newcastle’s most consistent defender made a move up, and if Liverpool need a replacement central defender who knows the EPL well, it’s Coloccini. With his shaggy long hair and commanding presence in the box, Coloccini has been a key component of Newcastle’s starting XI but at Liverpool, he would be content coming off the bench as well as starting from time to time. His mid-range price point could be an attractive part of the deal, too.
A Brazilian defender with international experience, Miranda is one of Athletico Madrid’s more flashy defenders. He’s on a contract right now until 2016 but if Liverpool makes the right offer, Madrid could give him up. He’s an unproven commodity, overshadowed by the likes of Thiago Silva, Dante and David Luiz for the national team, and a move to the EPL may be exactly what Miranda needs to get noticed by his country in time for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.