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Liverpool showing serious interest in Bayer Leverkusen star who compares himself to Jerome Boateng

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By Rohan Sengupta

Bayer Leverkusen Odilon Kossounou has emerged as a serious transfer target for Liverpool

According to a report from Spanish outlet Fichajes, Liverpool are vying for the signing of Bayer Leverkusen defender Odilon Kossounou.

A no-nonsense, powerful defender, Odilon Kossounou has made a huge name for himself in the Bundesliga since arriving from Club Brugge in the summer of 2021. The Ivory Coast international made just over 100 appearances across all competitions for Bayer Leverkusen to date, chipping in with a goal and three assists. While he was not a regular starter last season, his contributions were immense in helping Bayer Leverkusen lift their maiden Bundesliga title under Xabi Alonso.

So, it is hardly surprising that Kossounou is now a coveted commodity in the transfer market. The aforementioned report claims the 23-year-old has a market value of €45million, a figure Liverpool are ready to consider in order to bolster their defence for the 2024/25 campaign. However, the Reds could face competition from Premier League rivals Manchester United and Newcastle United for the Ivorian’s signature.

It is set to be a crucial transfer window at Anfield as new head coach Arne Slot will look to put his own authority on the squad he inherited from Jurgen Klopp. While major surgery is not required due to the Reds’ overall quality squad, there are some areas of the pitch that needs some new life.

The Merseysiders have made the signing of a central defender one of their priorities in this transfer window, owing to the release of Joel Matip at the end of last month. This has left Arne Slot with Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez and Jarell Quansah as the only centre-back options at his disposal.

With Van Dijk recently turning 33 and into the final year of his contract, Gomez largely operating as a full-back this past season, Konate vulnerable to injuries and Quansah yet to fully develop into a regular starter, Liverpool certainly must strengthen their central defence this year. Kossounou, in that regard, would be a perfect player to enhance their defensive ranks.

Liverpool keen on strengthening their defence with the signing of Bayer Leverkusen's Odilon Kossounou
Liverpool keen on strengthening their defence with the signing of Bayer Leverkusen’s Odilon Kossounou

The 23-year-old’s ability to progress the ball, initiate attacks from the ball, physical traits and good turn of pace make for the ideal profile to succeed under Slot. Strong in the air and tenacious in tackling, the Ivory Coast international is an intimidating presence at the back and would complement Van Dijk’s calm and composed playing style. Moreover, he can also operate in a back three and as a right-back, and such versatility could only benefit Liverpool.

A huge fan of Sergio Ramos, Kossounou considers himself similar to former Bayern Munich man Jerome Boateng.

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Kossounou still has two years on his current deal at Bay Arena but a big bid may well tempt Bayer to cash in while they can. At just 23 years old, he could become a long-term asset for the Reds and replace Matip in the squad. That said, we must kickstart our summer transfer window by making the Bayer Leverkusen star Slot’s first signing of his era.