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Done deal jurgen Klopp ended two o



Done deal jurgen Klopp ended two of his players contract…..

With six wins in as many outings, it is clear that Trent Alexander-Arnold’s transformation has been central to Liverpool’s recent revival in fortunes. As the summer approaches, however Jürgen Klopp may see a need to purchase an understudy to the homegrown star.

It is expected that the bulk of the Reds’ transfer budget will be used to strengthen in midfield but it is also clear that defensive reinforcements will be required if the likes of Joël Matip and Nat Phillips depart Anfield this summer. On top of the uncertainty surrounding the futures of those two, the mixed form of Joe Gomez this term may have concerned his manager.

With this in mind, Liverpool’s recruitment team may well be tasked identifying a tactically-flexible player who is as comfortable in the center of defense as he is at full-back. Of course, finding elite-level defenders who fit this criteria is far from an easy task, but one international teammate of Virgil van Dijk and star of the Eredivisie may well fit the bill on numerous counts.

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All things considered, Liverpool would require a defender who could equally excel as a ball-playing center-back and as an ‘inverted full-back’ in order to ensure that Klopp would not need to tweak his current system too dramatically. A player who stands out in this respect is Ajax’s Jurriën Timber, who has routinely been linked with a move to Merseyside in recent months, with the player having told Ziggo Sport that ‘there is a chance’ that he leaves Amsterdam in the upcoming transfer window.

Valued at a reasonable $46m (£37m/€42m), according to Transfermarkt, the defender could well be an astute addition to Klopp’s squad ahead of next season, with his quality and experience likely to be attractive for a number of potential suitors this summer. Despite only being 21, the defender has already played 118 senior games for the Eredivisie giants, while also having starred in the Champions League as well as earning caps at international level.

Timber’s suitability to Liverpool’s current style of play is obvious, especially considering that Ajax has also utilized him effectively as an ‘inverted full-back’ in the recent past, with Erik ten Hag essentially asking him to ‘tuck in’ to form a midfield three last season when his team was in possession. The 21-year-old star has been mightily impressive in the past year when it comes to his passing, which would be particularly attractive to Klopp, given Alexander-Arnold’s recent role change.

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During this current season, Timber has more often been used in the heart of defense, making a total of 44 appearances in all competitions in this role. Demonstrating his versatility, the 15-time international has also been impressive as a more traditional ball-playing center-back for his boyhood club, with his organizational skills belying his tender years.

When compared with defenders across the world’s next eight competitions — the leagues adjudged to be just below Europe’s top five leagues in terms of standard — Timber is in the top one per cent of all performers in terms of attempted passes, pass completion, progressive passes and progressive carries per 90 minutes over the last 365 days. Clearly, this is a player who is very comfortable in possession, with a real ability to drive his team forward from an offensive perspective.

On top of this and by the same measure, Timber is also in the top five per cent of performers in terms of touches in the opposing penalty area, shot-creating actions and non-penalty expected goals (xG) and assists (xA). As defensive players go, Timber is surely as impressive as it gets when it comes to affecting games in the opposition half, with the Dutchman’s output very much reminiscent of Alexander-Arnold.

Jurriën Timber will likely be in demand this summer after a strong season with Ajax and may be of interest to Liverpool.

(Image: Nesimages/Michael Bulder/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Timber’s qualities have certainly not been lost on one Reds legend who has expressed his hope that the Netherlands star’s connection with compatriot and teammate Virgil van Dijk could convince him to swap Amsterdam for Merseyside in the summer. Speaking to Soccer News, Liverpool legend John Barnes said: “Of course I know that he played together with Van Dijk in the Dutch national team and according to the latest rumors Van Dijk has told him that he has to go to Anfield.”

“He is a good player and would therefore be a good asset to Liverpool. Virgil is already over 30 and he will not stay with the club forever. So in the long term it’s not just about coming to The Reds to form a duo with Van Dijk.”

He added: “Liverpool also just needs to look for a new defender for the future. And in that respect, Timber would of course be a fantastic option if we manage to capture him.”

There is no doubt that Timber ticks a lot of boxes for Liverpool and, as Barnes rightly points out, the defender’s age means that he could have all the ingredients to become the club’s next defensive leader. At a reasonable price, the Dutchman could prove to be a bargain purchase this summer — ultimately replacing Van Dijk, perhaps, but providing an immediate upgrade on Gomez, as well as offering cover to Alexander-Arnold.

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