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Joel Matip’s long-time absence prompts Liverpool to scout 22-year-old Portuguese defender

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By Aishwarya Kannan

Liverpool eye Portuguese talent Goncalo Inacio as Joel Matip recovers

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is striving hard to fill the void left due to Joel Matip’s absence. The 32-year-old ruptured his ACL during the clash against Fulham at Anfield and had to undergo surgery in his knee. As a result, the Liverpool legend is unlikely to feature in the Reds line-up again this season.

Klopp spent a significant amount of money revamping his team’s midfield and attack in the summer transfer window. The German head coach has now shifted his focus to reinforcing the team’s defence. Although the Reds manager has young talents such as Jarell Quansah who now shares the right-sided defensive role alongside Ibrahim Konate, there still remains the need for a strong centre-back to play on the left, behind or alongside Virgil van Dijk.

A left-footed centre-back has been something Klopp has eyed for a while now for which the Merseyside outfit has diverted their attention to Portuguese player Goncalo Inacio. According to Portuguese outlet Record (h/t Liverpool ECHO), the Anfield Giants sent scouts to check out the 22-year-old during Sporting CP’s 3-0 win against Sturm Graz on Thursday. Inacio put on a formidable performance by scoring 2 of the 3 goals in the game and maintaining his passes with precision.

Goncalo Inacio of Sporting CP(Photo by CARLOS COSTA/AFP via Getty Images)
Goncalo Inacio of Sporting CP (Photo by CARLOS COSTA/AFP via Getty Images)

Sporting CP centre-back to potentially replace Matip in Liverpool.

Inacio has been keen on attaining Premier League exposure. It would be interesting to see if the Reds break the bank to trigger his £52 million release contract or if Manchester United or Arsenal might get to him first.

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Speaking to LFCTV (h/t Mirror), Merseyside right-back Jarell Quansah shared his aims for securing the spot Klopp wants Inacio in. While Quansah could be considered a genuine first-choice option for the role, the left-footed centre-back might be a better fit for the role.

The Sporting CP centre-back’s performances on the field have shown him to be fast and agile with the ball in his feet, whilst being good with positioning. The player is also known for retaining his calm and composure under pressure. These attributes would certainly mesh well with Klopp’s current roster and justify the Liverpool manager’s intent with regards to the young talent.

Klopp’s calculative transfers seem to be one of the key factors for Liverpool’s position at the top of the Premier League table. The addition of world-class midfielders like Alexis Mac Allister and Dominic Szoboszlai has been instrumental in improving the team’s form from last season. Inacio’s addition would add strategic versatility to the left side of defence and help the team win the Premier League.