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Ben White is a January target of Liverpool's according to Pearce

Liverpool have already identified two potential replacements for Virgil van Dijk who could be attained as early as January, accordingh James Pearce of The Athletic.

Van Dijk, 29, is expected to be out for the remainder of the season after picking up an ACL tear during the Merseyside derby draw with Everton.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 17: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool reacts as he walks off the pitch after picking up an injury during the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on October 17, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

According to The Mirror, the Reds are monitoring defenders such as RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger.

However, reputable Liverpool journalist James Pearce has credited two other potential interests who are considered higher up in the club’s transfer pecking order.

One name that refuses go away is Brighton defender Ben White, who according to Pearce has been ‘frequently monitored at Anfield’ with club officials keeping tabs on the highly-rated 23-year-old.

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The former Leeds United loanee recently put pen-to-paper on a lucrative contract extension with Brighton which will keep White at the Amex until 2024  meaning Liverpool would have to consider breaking the bank if their reported interest were to materialise into more.

 

Pearce has also reported Liverpool also maintain an interest in Schalke defender Ozan Kabak.

The 20-year-old Turkish international clocked up 28 appearances under David Wagner last season, following his arrival from Stuttgart in the summer of 2019.

Kabak has been considered as ‘another good option’ according to Pearce although Liverpool’s limitations at the back can be dated further back to Van Dijk’s season-ending injury at Goodison Park according to The Athletic’s Liverpool correspondent.

Speaking with TV2 , Pearce said: “I will be surprised if they do not sign someone in January. I do not envisage a situation where they play the whole season with the squad they have now.

“The reality is that Van Dijk is irreplaceable, and Liverpool just have to fight on with what they have.

“But it is asked if they do not regret that they did not replace Dejan Lovren this summer, it was a risky game, he says and continues:

“Although Lovren was not the most popular player at Anfield, he made important contributions. They took a risk when they chose to go into this season with one-stop less.”

Brighton’s English defender Ben White (L) vies with Manchester United’s English defender Luke Shaw during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on September 26, 2020. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by GLYN KIRK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

What RTK has to say

Either player at this given moment would be a welcomed addition when you consider the severity of Liverpool’s defensive situation.

Joel Matip and Joe Gomez represent the club’s only naturally suited senior options in central defence with the former getting 90 minutes under his belt for the first time in 12 months following the stalemate at Goodison.

Both players have already been deemed unavailable for at least one PL match this season while their history with injury over the past two seasons also raises significant concerns.

If Liverpool were to priorities one of the two targets then the club’s reported pursuit of White should take greater precedence given his Premier League experience.

He has already clocked up five top-flight appearances this season under Graham Potter and has even covered in defensive midfield during Brighton’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at the weekend. White’s versatility gives him the edge as he is more naturally suited to thrive under Jurgen Klopp.

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