Tottenham Hotspur coach Jose Mourinho (c) Tottenham Hotspur Facebook

Tottenham and Liverpool set to race for Ligue 1 star’s services

Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have both been wanting to sign a central defender, preferably in the winter itself.

Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur continue to contend for the Premier League title with over half of the season’s fixtures still to play. However, both sides are encountering contrasting but mutual problems in the heart of the backline. While the Reds have several injury issues, the north Londoners have subpar players to mount a title race.

Jurgen Klopp has already lost Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to long-term injuries and with the matches coming thick and fast, it is going to be hard for the existing pack to remain fully fit and sustain the busy period without any fitness snags. Plus, the defending champions don’t have the best of defensive records having already shipped 17 this season.

On the flipside, Tottenham Hotspur have failed to replace Jan Vertonghen and are only using Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld at the back. The Englishman is not as great a defender as a title contender would need, whereas Alderweireld is aged and has visibly slowed down in terms of reflexes and whilst challenging for aerial duels.

In hindsight, both clubs are interested in signing a central defender and are targeting Lille youngster Sven Botman in January, Foot Mercato reports. The 20-year-old is already a regular fixture in the Ligue 1 outfit’s starting eleven and has shown great promise. However, with some of Europe’s finest clubs hovering over him, it would be tough for his side to keep him at bay for long.

Botman is a tall and imposing presence at the back, whilst also possessing respectable speed and passing accuracy. His physique can be menacing for the opponent’s attacking players and all the crucial attributes he brings to the side makes him an ideal player for the English top-flight. He is exactly what Liverpool need, but not Tottenham perhaps.

Klopp only needs a short-term solution and Botman, with a regular spot can do that. Surely he will be one for the future, but he simply may not be able to play as often as he would like in the Premier League- especially in Liverpool’s squad. Botman could easily replace Dier at Tottenham though, but Spurs need someone more experienced to find consistency.

Daniel Levy has been exploring the prospect of landing Milan Skriniar from Inter Milan since the summer and remains open on bringing in the Slovakian even in January. Spurs have a very young squad but youth is not what they need now, so Liverpool could have a clear view of landing the ex-Ajax Amsterdam defender who is priced at 8 million euros.