Five Virgil van Dijk Alternatives Liverpool Could Target in January

Koulibaly Napoli
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Ben White

After Virgil van Dijk suffered an ACL injury in the most recent Merseyside derby, one player who has become a possible target is Brighton & Hove Albion's Ben White.

In the four years since making his debut, the 23-year-old has featured for sides in all the lower English leagues, as he won the Championship with Leeds United last season. White has started five league games for Brighton this season and has made it certain that he is a Premier League name for the now and the future, whilst no doubt, Gareth Southgate will be having a look at him.

Leeds tried to secure his services this season for a fee of around £30m, however, it is believed that the Seagulls have placed a £50m valuation on him, which is just £20m less than van Dijk's initial fee.

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Dayot Upamecano

On the most recent Monday Night Football, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher identified Dayot Upamecano as the Reds' main traget this January. The Frenchman has become one of the most sought after centre-backs in Europe in the past two seasons, performing wonders for RB Leipzig, including memorable performances on route to the Champions League semi-finals last year.

Manchester United were reportedly very interested in signing Upamecano in the summer, but Liverpool's arch rivals never seems close to actually putting a bid in. Now, not long after the player committed to Leipzig until 2024, no doubt the young defender will cost a figure upwards of £60m, and perhaps seriously break the bank for Jurgen Klopp's side.

However, as far as the future and the present goes, this signing certainly ticks the boxes.

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Ozan Kabak

Back in the early part of the summer transfer window, Klopp reportedly enquired into the value of Ozan Kabak. The Turkish defender has impressed in the German Bundesliga at clubs such as Stuttgart and Schalke, with his aerial ability, passing and pace all counted as notable factors in his arsenal. However, reports have suggested the player was not signed due to the £36.2m price tag set on him.

If Schalke do not change their stance, this move will fail to materialise once more, and given Liverpool's desperation for another centre-back, the Royal Blues will likely increase their offer if anything.

Although, watch this space, as a slight bit of negotiation from Klopp and Liverpool and Kabak could be at Anfield in January.

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Kalidou Kouliably

Arguably one of the biggest transfer targets for anyone in need of a centre-back is Kalidou Kouliably.

On numerous occasions, many have compared the Senegal defender to van Dijk as an almost identical player due to his speed, aerial prowess and his strength. However, despite the giants of Europe seeking his signature for years now, the major issue with signing Koulibaly remains to be the extreme price tag.

A player who is almost identical to van Dijk will bring an almost identical price tag of around £70m, which in the current economic climate is extremely difficult to fund. And, given how the money earned from Philippe Coutinho has now run dry, don't expect any marquee signings of this magnitude from the Reds.

However, considering what is at stake, Liverpool should splash the cash and sign the 29-year-old not just to strengthen their side, but to ensure nobody else acquires his services.

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Milan Skriniar

Similarly to Koulibaly, Milan Skriniar has been lighting up the Serie A in recent times and thrown himself into the mixture of the most wanted centre-backs in European football. And now, still only 25, the Inter Milan defender remains one of the best replacements for van Dijk Klopp could ask for, especially given his age would work wonders for Liverpool in the future.

However, in the Europa League, he was non-existent as Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni and Diego Godin started in the backline.

Currently, Skriniar is reportedly valued at over £50m and has had a lot of interest from Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, who attempted to bring him to north London in the last transfer window. Now, with his price tag no doubt set to rise as he moves up Serie A with an ever-improving Inter side, Liverpool might not break the bank for this one, although, he remains a wise choice for Klopp.

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