Liverpool’s defensive problems are well documented and the need to buy a centre-half and a natural left-back is obvious. The club are aware of it as well and they seem to be taking the necessary steps to fix the leak.
Our pursuit of Virgil van Dijk ended on a rather sour note as the club officially announced the ending of any apparent interest in the player. However, the hunt for a central defender does not end there, does it?
We were previously linked with Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson, who was a bright spot in a dull Boro season which saw them experience the drop to the EFL Championship. Ben Gibson made a total of 41 appearances for them and it was reported by ESPN in April that the player was on the radar of Liverpool and Tottenham.
The £5.1m rated Gibson was an ever-present member for Boro last season and also contributed to 2 goals (1 goal and 1 assist). However, the new Middlesbrough boss Garry Monk has now made an open statement regarding the player’s future at the club, claiming that he wants to hold on to the player despite interest from various clubs.
On Gibson, currently on England duty in France, Monk said:
“Ben is one of a number of players here who are integral to the squad, integral to making that step back. Ben is obviously a big focal point the team. I’ve watched him over the last couple of seasons, and I’m well aware of him and what he can bring to the team.”
“It’s important that you keep your best players, and important you’re able to keep a core together and give yourself the best possible opportunity of reaching the club’s ambition, which is to go back to the Premier League.”
“Ben is a big part of that. Discussions will happen with players. It’s my job to sit with them, and show them the way forward. It’s important that we keep our best players, and the club are in agreement with that.”
It is natural for the new manager to look to keep hold of the club’s best players when he takes over and Monk is no exception. Although it wouldn’t be too difficult to lure Ben Gibson away from Boro, he is probably not what we need at the moment.
A superstar centre-half is the need of the hour and we should probably pursue bigger players.