Liverpool can give ideal Jürgen Klopp defender Champions League test in golden £23m scout chance
Liverpool’s next Champions League fixture will give the club a golden chance to monitor a £23m defender who is ideal for Jürgen Klopp’s system at first glance.
Another Champions League game awaits Liverpool next week and it will be a chance for Jürgen Klopp’s side to bounce back from their disappointing opening fixture.
Klopp’s side will hope to put the horrors of Naples behind them with a fresh start back at Anfield to take on a familiar opponent.
Back during the Covid-19 pandemic, Liverpool also faced Ajax in the group stages of the competition, and while this new side are much changed, Klopp and his coaching staff will know what to expect, with the Dutch outfit always sticking to their principles of swift progressive football.
Just like last week, the game will not only be a test for Liverpool, it will also set the scene for new and emerging talents to catch the eye against the Champions League finalists from last season. One player who will be determined to do so is Calvin Bassey.
The Nigerian international made it to the Europa League final with Rangers last season, and he is definitely a player the Reds should monitor.
Bassey made his debut in the Champions League this week — coincidentally against Rangers — and produced a stellar performance. He completed 141 passes while winning all his ground duels and even registered an assist. Composed on the ball, physically strong and technically gifted with the speed to handle swift transitions, Bassey seems like an archetypal Liverpool defender and one who could easily endear himself to Klopp.
Combine that with his versatility to be able to play as a full-back, and you get an ideal player not just for the Liverpool system but the squad as well. The type of profile FSG and Julian Ward would target, who could help out in a moment of crisis in multiple roles.
At 22, the defender who was developed at Leicester City is still extremely young and has plenty of time to get even better. Whether he is on the club’s radar at the moment is unknown, but a good performance at Anfield could certainly catch the attention of the club’s scouts to monitor him further.
With two of Liverpool’s key defenders in Virgil van Dijk and Joël Matip, both having turned 31, the Reds will soon have to find an heir for their veteran stars, and Bassey may just be an ideal candidate.
Of course, given Ajax’s financial stability at the moment — not least after a big summer of sales to Manchester United — Liverpool will have to pay considerably more than the fee Ajax paid to lure Bassey away from Rangers, which could rise to £23m. But that is up to Ward to solve and for FSG to accommodate, in order to ensure the Reds continue to compete at the pinnacle of European and world football.