Stats suggest Liverpool could turn transfer attention to these class defenders

first_img 8 Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach) – Danish behemoth Vestergaard measures up at a huge 6ft 6½ inches, which means he can be just as aerially dominant as Van Dijk. Although according to the stats, he completes around one less victory in the air per game than the Dutchman. Elsewhere, the pair are evenly matched in most departments, which could make Jurgen Klopp take a good look at him as an option. Liverpool’s start to their summer transfer business hasn’t quite gone to business as they failed to land long-term Virgil van Dijk.The Reds have stood down from their interest following high-level discussions with Southampton, and must now do their dealings elsewhere as Jurgen Klopp attempts to strengthen his defence.Dutch star Van Dijk is a fairly unique player, dominant aerially but also very capable stopping opponents with his feet and playing the ball forward with ease.But who else is capable of matching someone like the Saints star? Taking a look at his statistics on WhoScored, we look at eight players who could fit the bill for Liverpool.Click the right arrow above to see who our search brought up… 8 8 8 8 Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen) – Already known as a top young talent in Germany, Tah stacks up pretty well against Van Dijk, completing 0.3 more tackles per game, and only 0.2 less interceptions. With the ball at their feet, the two men are not dissimilar either but Van Dijk, once again trumps his rival when it comes to completed long balls, with Tah making 1.7 less. 8 8 Kostas Manolas (Roma) – Greek star Manolas is another possible target for Liverpool and his numbers aren’t too dissimilar from Van Dijk’s, but the Southampton star just edges him in most categories – apart from pass success rate. He’s only a month older than the Dutchman too. Benjamin Hubner (Hoffenheim) – Julian Nagelsmann’s side were superb in the Bundesliga last season and Hubner was key at the back for them as they finished fourth. He can’t compete with Van Dijk in terms of aerial duels won per game, only coming out victorious 2.6 times per game, compared to 4.7, but he out performs the Dutchman when it comes down to both tackles and interceptions. Hubner’s 2.9 tackles won and 3.3 interceptions are certainly impressive, while he also managed two goals and three assists. He didn’t make as many long balls as Van Dijk per game, but he gets closer than others with 3.3 each match, on average. 8 Andreas Christensen (Chelsea) – On loan at Borussia Monchengladbach for the last two season, the Dane has impressed in the Bundesliga and has a brilliant 91.5% pass success rate, although he doesn’t play as many long balls as Van Dijk. Aerially, Christensen is two inches shorter than the Dutchman, but he still wins 2.7 aerial duels per game in comparison to 4.7 from Van Dijk. But, when it comes to tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks, not much separates the duo. Whether the Reds can tempt their rivals to sell is another matter. Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Bilbao) – Chelsea and Manchester City target Laporte has bounced back well from a fractured ankle in March last year. The French starlet is wanted a man and it’s easy to see why, especially when you consult the statistics. His numbers stack up similarly to Van Dijk’s but Laporte does complete more long balls per game (6.1), which is impressive considering not many get close to the Dutchman’s 4.6. Robin Knoche (Wolfsburg) – Given the Bundesliga star was involved in a relegation play-off, it might not be the most thrilling of signings, but Knoche is only just a shade below Van Dijk, according to the statistics. He makes just 0.3 less tackles per game, and only 0.1 less interceptions, but his ability on the ball does seem lacking in comparison to the Dutchman, with a lower pass success rate. Willi Orban (RB Leipzig) – With 0.5 more tackles completed per game than Van Dijk, Orban is definitely a viable option for Liverpool. His passing isn’t quite as accurate as the Dutchman’s, coming in at 2.7 per cent lower, but he’s more capable of catching an opponent offside, which may appeal to Jurgen Klopp.last_img

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