Liverpool draw with Luton has exposed the position January signing will focus on, according to a report.
The Reds were expected to sweep newly-promoted Luton Town aside despite being on the road on Sunday.
Had Darwin Nunez been clinical, Liverpool may well have left Kenilworth Road with all three points and a handy boost to their goal difference.
Instead, the Uruguayan missed a series of fantastic opportunities and but for Luis Diaz’s late equaliser, Liverpool’s one point could so easily have been zero.
A surprise selection for the contest was Joe Gomez at left-back. Gomez is no stranger to playing at full-back, though generally on the right and rarely the left. Indeed, the start at left-back was Gomez’s first since way back in 2015.
Kostas Tsimikas had got the nod in Liverpool’s previous three encounters amid Andy Robertson’s ongoing recovery from a shoulder dislocation.
However, Tsimikas’s delivery when bombing forward was poor against Everton, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth (EFL Cup). His defending also left a lot to be desired.
Gomez may have been selected partly to nullify Luton’s aerial threat from set pieces. However, as a right-footed centre-back playing at left-back, momentum in attack after attack fell away when the ball was fed to Gomez. More often than not his go-to option was to pass back inside and with that, the moment was lost.
Over on the right side, meanwhile, Trent Alexander-Arnold still does not have adequate competition for his place.
Gomez is his primary back-up, though offers nothing close to Alexander-Arnold’s attacking threat when deployed at right-back.
What’s more, deploying Gomez in the full-back positions then leaves Klopp a centre-back short.
With Klopp regularly rotating in the EFL Cup and Europa League this season, having to use Gomez at full-back is not ideal.
Now, according to Football Insider, Liverpool plan to remedy their lack of depth in defence during the winter window.
Versatile defender wanted in January, but key target ruled out
The online outlet state Liverpool are ‘exploring a potential deal for a versatile defender’ in January.
It’s reiterated a player who can ‘star in multiple roles’ as opposed to a one-position specialist is in the club’s thinking.
The concerning drop off in quality at left-back since Robertson’s injury, as well as Alexander-Arnold potentially playing in midfield are both referenced in the piece.
Both factors are combining to make a versatile defender Liverpool’s top priority when the market re-opens.
As such, a rumoured move for centre-back Goncalo Inacio, for example, might not take shape.
Instead, Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly is cited as the sort of player Liverpool will move for. Kelly is equally adept at playing at centre-back or left-back and it’s that flexibility Liverpool crave.
Kelly won’t be moving to Anfield in January, however, with TEAMtalk learning Bournemouth will refuse any and all bids they receive.
Their reasoning behind that stance is understandable, with the Cherries dead set against losing arguably their best defender during a relegation scrap.
Nonetheless, a player in Kelly’s ilk is seemingly what Liverpool will sign to begin 2024.