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Liverpool set to rival Arsenal for Bundesliga defender with 39 appearances this season

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By Siddharth Juyal

Liverpool and Arsenal are competing in the transfer market for Eintracht Frankfurt defender Willian Pacho to bolster their defence

Eintracht Frankfurt defender Willian Pacho is a transfer target for Liverpool and Arsenal to bolster their defence department in the summer. The 22-year-old is enjoying a fantastic season for the German side after joining them from Royal Antwerp last summer.

Standing at 1.87 metres, Pacho is a physically dominant figure in the backline of Frankfurt with formidable power and athleticism. Despite the physical quality that helps him dominate any opponent in duels, the 22-year-old relies more on his game intelligence.

The Ecuador international makes well-timed tackles and interceptions instead of bullying his way through the situation with aggression. He demonstrates high discipline and mature decision-making, seldom going to the ground or out of position.

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - MARCH 30: Lucas Tousart of 1.FC Union Berlin tackles Willian Pacho of Eintracht Frankfurt during the Bundesliga match between Eintracht Frankfurt and 1. FC Union Berlin at Deutsche Bank Park on March 30, 2024 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images) (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images)
Eintracht Frankfurt defender Willian Pacho has enjoyed a successful first season with the German side. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images)

Pacho’s judgment on and off the ball are his best qualities as he is a modern-day defender. The 22-year-old prefers to play in a possession-based system with a high line to build play from the back.

He is a good distributor and composed in high-pressure situations, shielding the ball elegantly against any pressing. Despite Frankfurt’s recent dip in form, they are currently sixth in the Bundesliga with Pacho playing a pivotal role.

The 22-year-old has made 39 appearances in all competitions for Frankfurt, contributing with an assist this season. He has missed only one Bundesliga match for Frankfurt this season as they conceded only 39 goals from 29 matches.

According to Florian Plettenberg (h/t X), Arsenal and Liverpool have inquired about Pacho as their interest continues to persist. Frankfurt values the 22-year-old at around €50-60 million in transfer fees and is ready to sell him.

Liverpool needs to bolster their defence after continuously leaking the first goal throughout this season which has cost them recently. Jarell Quansah has established himself as the senior player but Joel Matip’s contract expires at the end of this season.

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Captain Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate are the remaining defensive options for the Reds. Van Dijk is nearing the end of his peak years while Gomez has featured more as a utility player due to his versatility.

Meanwhile, Konate has struggled with form recently and his injury record makes him very unreliable as a first-choice. Pacho fits the profile that Liverpool desire but any potential deal is dependent on the new manager who would succeed Jurgen Klopp.