Liverpool were already stretched at the back due to Virgil van Dijk’s injury, but the bad news with Joe Gomez last week means a January signing appears to be inevitable.
Jurgen Klopp will need to make a decision between a stop-gap type signing or spending big on someone who can improve them for years to come, but that will obviously be dictated by finances.
Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly was spoken about as a target in the summer, and the Daily Mirror have named the Senegal international as a player who could be on their radar for January.
Koulibaly is a top quality player who has the pace and defensive instincts to deal with any attacking threat, while he’s also capable on the ball and likes the occasional surging run up the pitch when space opens up.
The problem is that Napoli are still looking for €70m to let him go, according to Italian paper La Repubblica, as translated by Football Italia, and it does sound like it’s just too much money for Liverpool to spend at this point.
You also have to take into account the long-term planning that would come with this signing, because Koulibaly and van Dijk are both 29 so they should still have two or three years left in their prime.
That would leave Liverpool in a situation where they would need to replace both defenders in a few years, so ideally you want a younger player who will provide some continuity and eventually take over from the Dutchman.
If the funds are there and Klopp simply wants to sign the best player he can then Koulibaly would be perfect, but it does seem more likely that he’ll rely on Matip and Fabinho and bring in a younger player to develop.