Liverpool’s hunt for a new defensive addition this summer should go no further than Southampton’s Armel Bella-Kotchap.
Bella-Kotchap had wowed supporters at St. Mary’s this season, breaking into the Germany World Cup squad based on some impressive displays. Then manager Ralph Hasenhuttl even called him ‘perfect’ prior to his sacking [Hampshire Live]. But unfortunately for he and his club, the season will end in the devastation of relegation.
That shouldn’t be a reflection on the 21-year-old, who has still managed to stand out in a substandard team. And according to journalist Florian Plettenburg today, Bella-Kotchap still has plenty of admirers.
Taking to Twitter this morning, Plettenburg claimed that ‘many top English clubs’ are monitoring the youngster’s situation.
The journalist also reports that Bella-Kotchap can leave for around £21.7m this summer, owing to Saints’ relegation. At that kind of price, Liverpool shouldn’t need any convincing. Get Southampton on the phone immediately!
Bella-Kotchap set to go on the market
With a big rebuild needed in Liverpool’s midfield this summer, the defensive restructuring may have to take a back seat. But make no mistake, the Reds need to do business in this area.
Joel Matip has shown immense decline over the course of the season and could be sold as he enters the final year of his contract anyway. Meanwhile, it’s become clear that Joe Gomez is no longer the dependable option he once was.
As a result of both of those things – as well as the fact that Virgil van Dijk turns thirty-two in July – Jurgen Klopp has to start preparing for the future.
To that end, Liverpool have been linked with a plethora of defensive additions. From Goncalo Inacio to Evan Ndicka to Josko Gvardiol, there are options out there for the Reds.
But really, Gvardiol aside, none look to possess the ceiling that Bella-Kotchap does. With a price-tag set relatively low in such a crazy market, the Germany international surely represents the best value for money.
And with the bulk of Liverpool’s budget set aside for the midfield, that’s something that will be important this summer.
The Reds are usually good at sniffing out these kinds of opportunities in the market. This year, Bella-Kotchap would look like being one of the very best of these.
Besides, the last centre-back Liverpool signed from Southampton didn’t turn out too badly…