Liverpool have emerged as favourites to land PSV left-back Jetro Willems as Jurgen Klopp looks to add to his defensive options ahead of the new Premier League season.
Given Liverpool’s problems with the left-back position, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has turned his attention to the Eredivisie to strengthen that area of his defence and is now close to landing Jetro Willems from Dutch side PSV Eindhoven. Alberto Moreno’s performances have been inconsistent at best, while Kolo Toure — who deputised on the left side of defence — has been released by Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Brad Smith, who was another potential left-back replacement for Moreno, is seemingly on his way out of the club. Many expected the young Australian defender to take over the reins, but Klopp has reportedly accepted a £6 million bid from Premier League side Bournemouth.
Jetro Willems close to completing Anfield switch
After witnessing poor performances by his left-backs game after game in the 2015/16 season, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is understood to be in the market for PSV defender Jetro Williams, according to Dipesh Agarwal of Sport Witness (h/t 90 Min).
The Reds have been linked to Leicester full-back Ben Chilwell, and recent reports suggested that the transfer was nearing its completion. However, Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri is unwilling to let go of any more players and has reportedly tied down the English defender to a new contract.
Alberto Moreno is currently Liverpool’s number one option in that position, but he has failed to justify his credentials ever since moving to Anfield from Sevilla. The 24-year-old made 32 league appearances last season and failed to have any significant positive impact on the team. He often looked off the pace and was bullied by stronger and more agile players in the air. Also, given his tendencies to drift forward, his defensive duties suffered, which effectively lead to the downfall of Klopp’s side.
Jetro Willems: Only Hakim Ziyech (35) has created more clear-cut chances in the last 2 Eredivisie seasons than @JetroWillems_15 (27)
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) March 27, 2016
Bringing in Jetro Willems would certainly help the cause of a resurgent Liverpool outfit. Despite a number of injury worries, Willems did not fail to shine in the Eredivsie last term; in only 15 games, the attacking full-back managed to score 2 goals and provide 4 assists.
A calm and composed figure on the ball, Willems is also a decent dribbler with immaculate passing ability. He can pose a threat from set plays and is as versatile a full-back as one would see in the Dutch Eredivisie. Liverpool are understood to be readying a £13 million bid for the defender, and given today’s inflated market, it could prove to be a bargain.
Brad Smith set for Anfield exit
As reported by Simon Jones of Mail Online, Liverpood defender Brad Smith is in talks with Premier League outfit Bournemouth after the Reds accepted a £6 million bid for him. Many Liverpool fans believed he could be a replacement for current left-back Alberto Moreno. However, Klopp has decided to cash in on the youngster, and the Australian looks set to follow Jordon Ibe to the Vitality Stadium.
Smith made his Liverpool debut against Bournemouth and the Cherries’ manager Eddie Howe was reportedly pleased with the youngster’s performance. Smith’s ability to play as a winger would bring much needed versatility to Howe’s side who are looking to cement their place in the Premier League.
The deal for Smith includes sell-on and buy-back clauses, similar to those which were included in the deal which took Ibe to the south coast earlier this month.