Liverpool splashing €30m to sign this Spanish wall would turn them into Champions League favourites next season

Liverpool opinion: Liverpool should sign Diego Llorente

According to the Guardian (h/t Noticias de Gipuzkoa), Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton are set to battle it out for Real Sociedad’s centre-back Diego Llorente. The 25-year old has improved his game massively over the last three years and will be available for €30million in the summer.

The addition of Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool has shown an unreal change of fortunes for the Reds as they are now in the hunt for the title.

Jurgen’s Klopp’s side boast of the best defence in the league this term and an addition of another brilliant centre-back in place of Joel Matip or Dejan Lovren will guarantee them success. Diego Llorente fits the bill perfectly.

A Real Madrid youth product, Llorente featured just 3 times for the Los Blancos’ senior side and spent two seasons on loan at Rayo Vallecano and Malaga before joining Real Sociedad in 2017.

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Llorente is a fast, physical and committed centre-back whose positional awareness has made him one of the best defenders in La Liga. The 25-year-old is versatile too, having played in defensive midfield and right-back on occasions.

If you had to compare Llorente’s style of play to another defender, it would be Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny.

The Spaniard, like the Gunners skipper, is a near-complete centre-back who possess positional discipline, quick reading of the game and uncompromising effort to deny the opposition to have any kind of chance in the box.

Llorente is a brilliant tackler and rarely ever gives away fouls. His interceptions, long passing and ability to break up the play are very similar to Koscielny and a move to the Premier League could send him on the same path of success as the Frenchman.

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The Spaniard is extremely comfortable on the ball and is composed enough to get away from tight spaces even when under enormous pressure. Despite being just 6ft 1in tall, he is exceptional in the air and is an asset for his team both defensively and offensively in set-pieces.

Llorente averages 1.1 tackles per game, 1.1 interceptions per game and an astonishing 4.2 clearances per 90 minutes. The Spaniard is also a brilliant passer of the ball and averages almost 55 passes per game of which 4.3 are long balls, at an incredible accuracy of over 85%. (WhoScored)

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Conclusion

Liverpool should sign Diego Llorente in the summer ahead of Everton and pair him up with Virgil van Dijk. A back three of van Dijk, Llorente and Alisson would make Liverpool’s defence one of the best in Europe and they would start the next season as favourites for the Champions League.

Written by Shamanth Jayaram

24-year old Electrical engineer turned football writer, born and brought up in Bangalore.

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