Who will replace Carragher in the summer?
In the 2012/13 season his importance to the Liverpool team was again evident, as he displaced out-of-sorts Martin Skrtel for a starting place in the Liverpool team. His awareness and his leadership qualities were again brought to light with a number of assured performances this season.
The 35 year old will be sorely missed around Anfield, and Brendan Rodgers will be on the look for one or even two defenders, with Sebastian Coates failing to make an impact and Martin Skrtel’s form being indifferent this season; Liverpool's defence definitely needs strengthening.
Here are four central defenders Northern Irishman Rodgers is linked and could make a move for as the Premier League season comes to a close.
1.) Ashley Williams (Swansea)
There will be fierce competition from Arsenal from Rodger’s former employee. It is hoped though that his already strong relationship with the Northern Irishman will sway him to Anfield. The 28 year old Swansea man is rated at £12,000,000. Not all Liverpool fans are convinced though, as the Wales captain has had a run in with Kop hero and controversial figure Luis Suarez. However Williams has has a great season, lifting the Capital One Cup with Swansea, and could prove a good buy for Liverpool.
2.) Raul Albiol (Real Madrid)
The 27 years old the Spaniard can slot in at right back and center-defensive midfield as well as play in his preferred center-back position. The Real Madrid star was a member of Spain's 2010 World Cup winning squad as well as the European Championship winning squad of 2012. Albiol has fallen out of favour with Jose Mourinho and has been limited to just 11 starts. And perhaps Real Madrid team mate Xabi Alonso would recommend a move to Liverpool for his Spanish compatriot.
3.) Toby Alderweireld (Ajax)
The Belgian defender has been instrumental this season in helping Ajax land their third consecutive Eredivisie title, and at 24 years old the Belgians best years are ahead of him. The physical Belgian can also slot in at right back. Rumours are rife that he and teammate, Dane Christian Eriksen will be subject of a £25,000,000 bid this summer from Liverpool in a double swoop.
4.) Douglas (FC Twente)
A cheap alternative could be the acquisition of FC Twente's 25 year old Brazilian defender Douglas, whose contract is out at the end of the summer. Formerly a target of Newcastle he has clocked up 145 appearances for his club, scoring eleven goals since joining from Brazilian minnows Joinville in 2007.
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