Ben Gibson: The Virgil van Dijk alternative for Liverpool

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Defensive woes are still the problem for the Reds and Jürgen Klopp should make a move for Middleborough defender Ben Gibson, writes Sam May.

Liverpool have been trying to sign Virgil Van Dijk for several months but have so far been left frustrated in their attempts. A move for Gibson would be seen as alternative to the Dutchman, who looks likely to remain on the South Coast.

Having had a standout season last campaign, Gibson would be the perfect addition at Anfield. He is a leader, and somebody who can command and take charge of Reds crumbling back four. The 24-year-old was exceptional despite his sides struggle for survival, which resulted in his team being relegated last season.

Gibson’s performances have been rewarded by England manager Gareth Southgate, who gave the player his debut against Lithuania back in March, replacing the injured Chris Smalling. He also played every minute of Boro’s games last season.

The player himself has previously stated his desire to move back to the Premier League and with Van Dijk looking unlikely, the Reds should make a move for the £30 million rated defender. Gibson helped his side to 10 clean sheets when in the Premier League due to his blocks and clearances.

Last season he averaged an 85% pass success rate, which will be appealing to Liverpool due to the fact they like to play the ball out of the back. His ranking meant he was among the top 10 of the Premier League’s first-choice defenders.

Recently, Manchester City have highlighted Gibson as an alternative to Jonny Evans – with West Brom holding out for a staggering £35 million for the former Manchester United defender. This means Liverpool would have to act fast to secure Gibson’s services.

For Liverpool, Gibson is a much better alternative, he is younger, left footed which would balance up the back four and half the cost of the inflated Van Dijk. Klopp should make a move, before it is too late.

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