Liverpool’s defensive nightmares continued at the weekend as they were torn apart at the back by a rampant Harry Kane and Tottenham side in an embarrassing 4-1 defeat.
Dejan Lovren endured a torrid time before he was substituted on 30 minutes while manager Jurgen Klopp later slammed his defenders, adding that places are up for grabs for those who show a reaction.
Klopp has been aware for a while now that central defence is an area of weakness for his side, but failed to remedy that in the summer following the disastrous attempt to lure Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.
With the January transfer window fast approaching, fans will be expecting Klopp to finally solve the problem and bring in a commanding central defender, but who could fit the bill?
FOX Sports Asia takes a look at some of the options available.
Virgil Van Dijk (Southampton)
The preferred option, and a player whose qualities would definitely make a difference for Liverpool at the back. There is no doubt that both player and Klopp want this move to happen, and the Southampton to Merseyside route is a road well travelled. The only question that remains is whether the Saints would be willing to do business with Liverpool after the summer transfer debacle soured relations between the two clubs and left van Dijk training with the youth team.
Stefan de Vrij (Lazio)
The 25-year old Dutchman is said to be on Liverpool’s radar after becoming a key member of Simone Inzaghi’s side. Lazio might be interested in selling as de Vrij’s contract is up in the summer and he is yet to sign an extension, although the Anfield side are likely to face competition from other clubs including Juventus.
Shane Duffy (Brighton)
The 25-year old has been mentioned as a surprise possible target after being praised by Jamie Carragher following Brighton’s solid start to life in the Premier League. The tough-tackling Irish international was instrumental in his team’s qualification for the World Cup playoffs, and would certainly add some steel at the back. He wouldn’t cost the Earth either. The only stumbling block would be that Brighton would be unwilling to let him leave.
Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough)
Liverpool have been linked with Gibson before, but the son of the ‘Boro chairman decided to stay and try to help his side get back to the Premier League following relegation. The 24-year old starred for the Teessiders last season despite their relegation and has leadership qualities the Reds currently need. He may also be tempted by a move given that ‘Boro’s dream of bouncing straight back doesn’t seem to be going to plan.
Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli)
The Senegalese centre-back has been in great form for the Italians, who are sitting pretty in Serie A after an unbeaten start to the season. The problem for LIverpool is that Koulibaly is rated among the league’s best defenders and would cost an arm and a leg. It is also debatable whether the player would want to trade a potential title run with Napoli for life at Liverpool. Klopp may have to wait if he wants to sign the 25-year old.