Liverpool reportedly want Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli in a move that could benefit Joe Gomez long-term.
Tutto Mercato Web claimed recently that the Reds want Koulibaly. More than that, discussions have started and Napoli are apparently open to the idea of selling their star asset.
The article mentions the potential partnership with Virgil van Dijk – it would certainly be a special one. They’re two of the absolute best defenders in the world and it would solidify Liverpool’s defence for years.
But TMW also mentions Joel Matip. Matip would be in a difficult position with the signing, almost certainly condemned to fourth-choice and with little hope of changing that. Liverpool may have to sell, in fact.
That article doesn’t name Gomez, however. The 22-year-old cemented his place as Van Dijk’s partner since December and firmly holds that position now.
Thus signing Koulibaly would almost certainly remove him from that. Long-term, however, that may work out.
For one thing, Gomez is considerably younger than both Koulibaly and Van Dijk, who are both 28. This wouldn’t be a replacement, then, but merely another player for Gomez to eventually replace as first-choice.
And taking some of the pressure off Gomez isn’t a bad thing. He could continue to focus on development, rather than helping to lead the team.
It’s also worth looking at how much Gomez has come on since working with Van Dijk. It’s entirely possible that giving him a second world-class centre-back to learn from could have a similar effect, allowing him to push on even further.
This is all hypothetical, of course, but it would mean that signing Koulibaly isn’t just a short-term measure. It could potentially help grow Liverpool’s next generation of stars.