Transfer News: Liverpool ‘eyeing move’ for Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap
According to Sport Witness (h/t Liverpool Echo), Liverpool FC are eyeing a move for Southampton’s 20-year-old centre-back Armel Bella-Kotchap. The German moved to the Saints earlier this summer and has impressed in his first Premier League season.
Bella-Kotchap was significantly impressive prior to his Premier League stint, with his time at Bochum in the Bundesliga. He first garnered attention in the 2019/20 season’s DFB cup game against Bayern Munich. Tasked with marking Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski, he gave in a wonderful performance.
It will be unfair to judge the player based on his limited appearances in the Premier League. His Bundesliga stint with Bochum should provide a greater judgement of the German international’s style of play.
Can Armel add to the Armory at Liverpool?
With a height of 6 ft 2 in, and with speed to complement the size of the man, he can prove to be more than just a handful in stopping attackers. It is said that Jurgen Klopp is an admirer of the youngster, and he is seen as someone who has the potential to replace Virgil van Dijk in the long run.
Presently, Liverpool have plenty to choose from in terms of centre-backs. Apart from Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip, the Reds have in succession Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez as well. Additionally, Nathaniel Phillips can put in more than just a shift as and when the situation demands.
At merely 20 years old, in case he makes the move to Liverpool, initially, he will have to play second fiddle to Virgil and Matip, who are almost certain to start every game subject to fitness. Gomez and Konate are younger options and he can give them a sense of healthy competition.
The youngster was very recently handed his first call-up to the German national team and would hope to grow at such soaring heights in the future as well. Southampton and Liverpool have done business in the past.
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The Saints have sold the likes of Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana, and Virgil van Dijk. Whether they are courteous enough to let another one of their stars join us in Bella-Kotchap remains to be seen.