Who Should Partner Virgil van Dijk Next Season?
The 2018-19 season will forever go down as one of the most memorable seasons in the history of the football club. The Reds put up an excellent fight against a once-in-a-lifetime team in Manchester City, before adding a sixth European Cup by beating Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final at the Wanda Metropolitan.
Football fans that get the William Hill promo codes would have undoubtedly had a double reason for celebrating as Mohamed Salah scored within a minute in the final and the Reds kept yet another clean sheet in the showpiece event of the European football calendar. However, as one season ends, the planning for the next must begin.
The big pressing issue that will be at the forefront of most fans’ minds will be who will make up the first-choice defensive partnership alongside possible Ballon d’Or contender Virgil van Dijk. There are few options still at the club, but could Jurgen Klopp also be tempted to dip into the market to find the perfect candidate?
In a surprising turn of events, Matip turned out to be the partner for van Dijk for the majority of the season. Of course, that was largely down to an injury to Joe Gomez, but he certainly grabbed the opportunity with both hands. He very rarely gets the credit that he is due, but he was one of the stars of the final and effectively dealt with everything that Harry Kane, Heung Min Son and Dele Ali threw at him.
It would be harsh not to consider the tall defender as a possible favoured option next season. Liverpool only conceded 12 goals with Matip on the pitch last season, and the sole league defeat came when the German wasn’t playing.
It seems that Klopp might instead revert to his favoured option of having Gomez alongside the Dutchman. The England international started the 2018-19 season in the best form of his career, and the partnership between himself and van Dijk was telepathic. However, injury meant that his season was effectively over before the halfway point of the season, which opened the door for challengers to seize their chance.
Gomez will likely be given another chance next season after proving his fitness towards the tail end of the season and making the bench for the final against Spurs. With a strong pre-season under his belt, the Englishman will likely be starting the first game of the season.
Out of all the defenders that we have spoken about thus far, Lovren would be the most worried about his future. He was used less than both Gomez and Matip and was playing in the only defeat that Liverpool suffered in the Premier League last season. When he is in form he is a great defender, but he is also prone to defensive mistakes, and for any club that is targeting the Premier League title, that is something that you don’t need to worry about.
Should Klopp identify a new defender that he wants to bring in over the summer months then, unfortunately, it would seem that the Croatian would be departing the club.