We’re midway by way of November and the switch rumor mill is already beginning to get going once more, simply forward of the January switch window.
You have seen the likes of Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly and Sao Paulo’s Lucas Beraldo linked with a transfer to Anfield, amid Liverpool’s ongoing seek for a left-footed centre-back.
In an effort to compile a possible checklist of viable choices, we at Empire of the Kop reached out to ChatGPT for solutions.
After a number of makes an attempt to regenerate solutions to the identical query (and discover acceptable solutions that met, or virtually met, the parameters) we got here throughout the next checklist of footballers who had been (roughly) appropriate for left-footed central defenders below 24 years:
1) Jean-Clair Todibo (23) (right-footed, sorry ChatGPT, however we’ll contemplate it)
2) Perr Schuurs (23) (right-footed, sorry ChatGPT, however we contemplate it a long-linked goal)
3) Dan-Axel Zagadou (24)
4) Strahinja Pavlovic (22)
As a possible successor to Virgil van Dijk, a number of key qualities value maintaining in thoughts are:
- Positioning (tough to symbolize statistically, though it explains why the Dutchman makes so few tackles and registers within the nineteenth percentile in comparison with his centre-back colleagues in accordance with FBref)
- Air dominance
- Management capabilities
- Sturdy passer
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A take a look at the competitors
As a result of restricted information obtainable for Pavlovic, we thought of Schuurs, Zagadou and Todibo in direct comparability to our skipper.
The final of the trio was maybe extra corresponding to the Dutchman by way of his inventive skills (78th percentile for shot-creating actions), proving himself to be an achieved passer of the ball. Nevertheless, the entire lack of aerial expertise (fifteenth percentile) will undoubtedly increase eyebrows amongst Liverpool’s information merchants.
Van Dijk’s Dutch counterpart in Torino additionally seems to be a dependable passer of the ball, though his restricted variety of passes per sport is maybe extra a mirrored image of his facet’s enjoying type than a sign of limitations.
That mentioned, Schuurs is surprisingly poor within the air (thirty eighth percentile for aerials gained) regardless of having a substantial top of 6-foot-1.
Dan-Axel Zagadou’s stats are maybe essentially the most intriguing of all of them. The 6’5″ defender from Stuttgart is an antenna pattern (with a capital ‘M’), surpassing our quantity 4 by registering within the 99th percentile for aerials gained (4.61 per 90 in comparison with Van Dijk’s 3.99).
Nevertheless, the 24-year-old’s passing choices are of nice significance. The Frenchman makes an attempt plenty of passes per sport (93rd percentile), however has a completion fee of 85.6% per 90 (56th percentile). Likewise, we would be involved about whether or not the participant might replicate the inventive talent of our Dutch colossus (rating within the thirty fourth percentile for shot-making actions).
Who ought to Liverpool preserve an in depth eye on?
We should emphasize that ties with Dan-Axel Zagadou have remained fairly restricted past 2022, following the centre-back’s transfer to Borussia Dortmund.
Though at 24 (we’ll press ‘younger’ right here) you would possibly ponder whether the previous operator of Sign Iduna Park can be the most effective match – and even open to the prospect of a lot much less common enjoying minutes at Anfield. Both approach, he is perhaps the standout choose of the aforementioned bunch.
Can play as a left-sided centre-back And As a backup left-back (a place he has crammed 12 instances, in accordance with Transfermarkt), the Frenchman would clear up multiple downside for Jurgen Klopp’s males.
That mentioned, a sequence of accidents and points have left Zagadou spending an inordinate period of time within the therapy room, inflicting his worth to plummet by way of the ground.
Nevertheless, the Stuttgart man missed simply seven video games in 2022/23 and 6 the season earlier than – a marked enchancment on the 47 video games missed in 2020/21 for Dortmund.
It could be a possible gamble too far, given the present points dealing with Liverpool relating to Ibrahima Konate’s faltering health.
This text is predicated partly on info from AI chatbot ChatGPT, which has been verified after use.
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