Liverpool: The first six fixtures of the new Premier League season
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Jurgen Klopp appears set to repeat the mistake he made with his Liverpool squad last summer as the Reds reportedly ended their interest in Cristian Romero. The Premier League side completed their first business of the summer window by signing Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig in May.
That move was in response to season which saw Klopp’s options at centre-back decimated by injuries to all three of his first-choice stars.
Virgil Van Dijk ruptured his cruciate ligament, Joe Gomez suffered a knee injury and Joel Matip was hit by ankle problems.
Those injuries ruled all three players out for most of the season, a situation which contributed heavily to Liverpool’s failure to defend their Premier league title.
With Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip on the sidelines, Klopp struggled to find a combination that would provide defensive stability.
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The German deployed midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in the heart of defence before turning to academy products Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams.
Those issues with finding a stable backline ultimately proved costly to the Reds, with six successive home defeats putting paid to their title aspirations.
That made signing at least one new centre-back critical heading into the summer transfer window.
The addition of RB Leipzig star Konate appeared to solve the problem, but a closer look at his injury record does prompt some concern.
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Ankle and muscle injuries contributed to the Frenchman making only 14 appearances in the Bundesliga last term.
With questions over Konate’s fitness and the trio of Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip coming off major injuries, Klopp appears to be sleepwalking into another transfer strategy mistake.
The Reds allowed Dejan Lovren to leave Anfield last summer without signing a replacement, with the Croatian not replaced.
That decision led to the problems Liverpool suffered in defence last term and it is a mistake that looks set to be repeated.
Atalanta centre-back Cristian Romero had emerged as a potential target to boost Klopp’s defensive options.
But L’Eco Di Bergamo now report that it will be “difficult” for them to spend more money on a centre-back having signed Konate.
Romero is highly rated in Italy after impressing for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side, but will cost a significant fee.
If Liverpool do in fact opt not to pursue a move and instead reply on the fitness of Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip, it could lead to more injury issues for Klopp next term.
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