Reported Liverpool centre-back target Antonio Silva is going to be one of the best defenders in world football.
That’s the view of former Benfica teammate Jan Vertonghen. Vertonghen left the Eagles before Silva’s breakthrough earlier this season. But that hasn’t stopped the veteran defender from being impressed by the teenager.
Praising his old defensive partner Nicolas Otamendi in an interview with CNN Portugal, Vertonghen went out of his way to mention Silva.
“Otamendi is making a wonderful time. At his age, he remains very physically and important and a key player in the team He is a true leader, as demonstrated in the World Cup. At the beginning of the season he started playing with Morato, who is a very good player, but then, because of the injuries they had to put the kid Antonio Silva, but the boy will be a legend,” the former Tottenham man said via Record.
“If he keeps doing what he’s been doing, he has everything to be one of the best defenders in the world in a year or two.”
Silva is reportedly on Liverpool’s list of centre-back targets for the summer. Notorious for churning out talent, it looks like Benfica have found themselves another one.
Liverpool looking to next generation
As Liverpool begin their search to replace Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk, they appear to be looking to the youth.
There have been claims that Matip could well depart Anfield this summer. But with three other senior defenders already in the squad, there’s no great rush for a new player to step in immediately.
Besides, it’s clear that Ibrahima Konate has already been earmarked as Matip’s successor at Anfield. With Konate on the right and Van Dijk on the left, they look pretty well set.
In the long-term though, they’ll need someone to step into that left-sided role. A junior partner for Konate is what Liverpool should be scouring the market for.
To that end, they have reportedly been looking at left-sided centre-backs. Although Josko Gvardiol is said to be the top candidate for this, Silva is also claimed to be a serious option. Not left-footed and spending most of his time of the right of the Benfica defensive two, it would be a new role for the youngster.
If Vertonghen’s endorsement is anything to go off though, the 19-year-old wouldn’t have trouble adapting. Earlier this season, Silva was said to be commanding a price-tag of around £45m. While that may seem a lot to pay for a player who won’t be an immediate starter, he could easily be worth twice that in the future.
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