theScore Employees

59m in the past


Virgil van Dijk made it clear he needs out at Southampton, because the Dutch centre-again confirmed on Monday he handed in a switch request to the Saints.

There are reportedly loads of suitors as Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester Metropolis have been linked with the defender. All three golf equipment can supply him the European soccer he wishes, however which workforce would profit most from including him to its ranks?

theScore’s Michael Chandler, Armen Bedakian, and Carlo Campo make a case for every of the three sides:


Liverpool was reportedly prepared to pay a world-report switch charge for a defender – round £60 million – within the race to signal Van Dijk, and was ready to match Metropolis’s supply of a contract valued at round £200,000 per week. However the Reds ended their curiosity within the product of FC Groningen after Southampton allegedly reported them to the Premier League for making an unlawful strategy.

It is easy to see why Liverpool was reportedly prepared to interrupt data and guidelines as a way to signal Van Dijk. The Reds are probably the most determined of the three golf equipment for a prime-class centre-again. Their defence is suspect at greatest, and Jurgen Klopp is aware of it. “Our largest problem is to be stronger defensively as a group, to be extra concentrated, extra targeted in conditions,” the German supervisor stated.

Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip can be Liverpool’s first-selection centre-backs till Van Dijk’s arrival, which may’t come quickly sufficient for the Reds. However it stays to be seen if the membership returns to the race. – CC


Antonio Conte’s aspect is in most want of defensive reinforcements, interval. The Italian tactician has the Blues lined up in a three-four-three however solely has a pair of wing-backs and 5 middle-backs in his roster. He wants three extra gamers to offer enough cowl amongst his whole defensive position.

There is a little bit of versatility amongst Chelsea’s ranks that would assist offset a few of the obvious absences; Cesar Azpilicueta – who featured predominately on the correct of Conte’s again-three – can play out broad on both flank, for example. However that also leaves David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger, Gary Cahill, and Andreas Christensen as the one beginning-high quality choices within the center.

Merely put, Conte wants extra choices on his backline, and Van Dijk is a participant who not solely offers that, but in addition gives a brief- and lengthy-time period alternative to 31-yr-previous captain Gary Cahill, whereas additionally permitting Azpilicueta to return to his extra pure place out large. Nevertheless, convincing Van Dijk to swap a beginning position at Liverpool and probably at Metropolis may be robust.

Van Dijk’s capability to play out of the again and dribble coupled together with his robust aerial prowess additionally fits Conte’s type to a tee. – AB

Manchester Metropolis

Manchester Metropolis doesn’t want Van Dijk greater than Liverpool.

That is to not say Pep Guardiola and Co. aren’t in for the towering Dutch worldwide, particularly after the Catalan cup connoisseur admitted his want to signal one other centre-again earlier than the window slams shut.

There isn’t any indication that Guardiola will transfer to a again-three this season, however the former Barcelona boss did make use of it in a summer time conflict with Actual Madrid to some success. That could possibly be sufficient to encourage Metropolis director Txiki Begiristain to forge yet one more opulent cheque in Sheikh Mansour’s identify.

In John Stones, Vincent Kompany, and Nicolas Otamendi, Metropolis has a trio of central defenders who’ve all proved their value within the Premier League, and with the membership pushing Eliaquim Mangala out the door, that leaves Jason Denayer and Tosin Adarabioyo within the fold to battle for a fourth spot.

The nod ought to in all probability go to the rangy Adarabioyo after a powerful pre-season, however with the Manchester-born defender but to make a Premier League look, and Kompany operating on calves normal from tattered bin liners, an enormous-cash transfer for Van Dijk would not come as an enormous shock.

After dropping the GDP of Seychelles to signal Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker, Danilo this summer time, in addition to Stones final yr, efforts to signal Van Dijk can be the switch window’s least surprising improvement. – MC

(Photograph courtesy: Motion Pictures)