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10 emergency centre-backs Liverpool could target before the end of January

Liverpool fans are crying out for the club to recruit a short term solution to their centre-back crisis before the January window slams shut.

Injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, as well as the questionable fitness of Joel Matip, has forced Jurgen Klopp into some unorthodox defensive pairings this season. Jordan Henderson and Fabinho had seemed to emerge as his go-to options recently, before an injury to the former forced the inexperienced Rhys Williams to fill in against Manchester United.

Williams has not looked comfortable all campaign and his error led to the Red Devils’ second goal, emphasising just how important it is for Liverpool to strengthen in the coming days. Here are some of the names they could considering bringing in.

Christian KabaseleChristian Kabasele
Kabasele did not disgrace himself for the Hornets last season | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Despite Watford’s relegation, Christian Kabasele did not perform that badly last season.

Overall, the 29-year-old Belgian has 92 Premier League appearances to his name and has been doing well for the Hornets in the Championship this time out.

His contract expires next summer, meaning he would not cost much at all, and he would likely jump at the chance to sign a short-term contract with the Reds. The only problem is that a knee injury is likely to keep him out until the middle of February. Ah.

Steve CookSteve Cook
Cook is Bournemouth’s captain, but could be tempted away by the lure of Champions League football | Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

When Bournemouth were promoted to the top flight in 2015, few would have predicted that Steve Cook would go on to play 168 Premier League games for the Cherries over the next five seasons.

During his time in the top flight, Cook did not just make up the numbers either, regularly finishing near the top of defensive stats tables.

At 29-years-old, he is into his peak years and with his contract set to expire in five months, he could be worth a low-risk punt, if an unglamorous one.

gary cahillgary cahill
Cahill would be available on the cheap | Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

If it is experience that Liverpool want, they need not look further than former Chelsea stalwart Gary Cahill.

During his storied career, Cahill has won it all, including two Premier League titles, the Champions League and two FA Cups.

After a solid debut campaign at Crystal Palace last time out, he has featured sporadically this season. Palace are blessed with significant depth at centre-back and with seemingly little to play for this term, they could be convinced to cash in on a player they stand to lose on a free in the summer.

Neven SuboticNeven Subotic
Subotic and Klopp could reunite for some Dortmund magic at Anfield | Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Somehow, Neven Subotic is only 32-years-old, meaning there are plenty of miles left in his bandy legs.

Last season, the Serbian helped Union Berlin comfortably survive their first season in the Bundesliga and in the summer he signed for Super Lig side Denizlispor.

However, his contract recently terminated, meaning he is free to reunite with the man he enjoyed so much success with at Borussia Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp.

Garay was Valencia skipper last seasonGaray was Valencia skipper last season
Garay was Valencia skipper last season | Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Ezequiel Garay is one of the most well-known names on the list and he would not cost a penny.

The Argentine was one of many players moved on by Valencia in the summer and he has bags of both La Liga and Champions League experience.

Saying that, there are a few question marks over his suitability. First and foremost, he has not played since suffering a nasty knee injury in February and he is also not the quickest, suggesting he could struggle in Liverpool’s high defensive line.

Juan JesusJuan Jesus
Juan Jesus has barely featured for Roma this season | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Juan Jesus has not enjoyed the best time of it recently, but in 2018 he did nullify Lionel Messi for an evening.

This suggests that beneath his sluggishness, a good centre-back is waiting to jump out.

Roma also seem keen to get him off the books, so his transfer fee would be modest. Also, Liverpool fans would get to sing: “there’s only one Jesus,” which is as good a reason as any to get this deal over the line.

Aleksandar DragovicAleksandar Dragovic
Dragovic is sporting a more wild hairstyle than the one he had during his Leicester days | Lars Baron/Getty Images

Aleksandar Dragovic has already proved he is Premier League standard, enjoying a solid(ish) loan spell at Leicester a few years back.

He was featuring prominently for Bayer Leverkusen this season but recently lost his place in the team.

With his contract winding down, he could be tempted into a Premier League return before the end of the month.

Shkodran MustafiShkodran Mustafi
Mustafi genuinely looked pretty good at points last season | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

No, this is not a joke.

At points last season, Shkodran Mustafi actually looked pretty good and he was even linked with a move to Barcelona.

By taking the German on loan until the end of the season, would Liverpool really be downgrading on what they currently possess? Probably not.

Steven CaulkerSteven Caulker
Caulker previously had a spell with the Reds in 2016 | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Hang on, is it 2016 again?!

The last time Steven Caulker was at Liverpool, he was used as an auxiliary centre-forward, creating a brilliant running joke in the process.

Since then, the centre-back has rebuilt his reputation at Super Lig side Alanyaspor, meaning that this unlikely reunion could not be as fanciful as it first appears.

it’s still quite fanciful.

Mamadou SakhoMamadou Sakho
Sakho could return to the club he departed in 2017 | Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images

Desperate times call for desperate measures and Klopp may need to repair his fractured relationship with Mamadou Sakho for the sake of the team.

The pair reportedly fell out back in 2017, after the defender breached multiple club rules.

However, Sakho could be a solid, (very) short-term solution to Liverpool’s lack of defensive options.

Source: 90mins

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