Liverpool transfers: £96m man identified as 'gold standard' successor to Virgil van Dijk
Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Liverpool transfers: £96m man identified as 'gold standard' successor to Virgil van Dijk

RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol should be top of Liverpool’s list to succeed legendary centre-back Virgil van Dijk.

That’s the findings of football analysts Analytics FC, anyway. Commissioned by The i to take a look at who Liverpool should target as a new top-level defender, Analytics FC threw up Gvardiol’s name as Van Dijk’s ‘gold-standard’ successor.

Interestingly, the data company also highlighted two other, lesser known defenders as reasonable options for the Reds this summer.

Argentine centre-back Facundo Medina is one player put forward as a potentially good fit. The 23-year-old is currently on the books at French club Lens.

Another that Liverpool are encouraged to take a look at is Sevilla’s Loice Bade. Although deemed surplus to requirements by Nottingham Forest during his loan spell this season, Bade is suggesting as being someone the Reds should monitor.

Plenty of quality options for Liverpool to look at

This isn’t any kind of confirmation that Liverpool are targeting any of the three names mentioned. But it’s interesting all the same.

According to The i, Analytics FC are used by Premier League clubs such as Leeds United and West Ham as aids to their recruitment. As a result, their findings can be taken with a degree of authority.

Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

Certainly, when it comes to Gvardiol, they look to have hit the nail on the head. The 21-year-old looks like being the next defensive superstar and would be a brilliant addition for Liverpool.

With a reported release clause of £96m coming into effect in 2024, the Croatian won’t come cheap. But supposedly armed with a decent sized war chest this summer, Liverpool should do all they can to bring Gvardiol to Anfield.

As for the other two names mentioned, they’re worth exploring. Bade was highly rated in France before his bizarre move to Forest last year. On-loan at Sevilla from Rennes, he’d be a far cheaper alternative to Gvardiol.

Medina on the other hand has been a key player in Lens’ excellent season so far. With two caps for Argentina he’s another potential star for the future. With plenty of other defenders seemingly being assessed by Liverpool with this summer in mind, here’s two more to add to the list.

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