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Liverpool are monitoring Werder Bremen starlet David Philipp, who is rated as one of German football’s top young players.
Sky Deutschland (h/t Joe Rimmer of the Liverpool Echo) reported Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is interested in the midfielder who made his way through Bremen’s youth academy.
Philipp’s endeavours for his club’s under-17 side have seen Tottenham Hotspur join Liverpool in scouting the player, with his goalscoring and creativity shining through.
Per Rimmer, Philipp scored 18 goals and recorded 21 assists for the youth team last season. The youngster is reportedly out of contract next summer.
Bremen academy director Bjorn Schierenbeck confirmed the interest in the talent: “I wouldn’t want to rule out the interest in David from the English clubs. But I don’t know exactly how firm it is. We would be very eager to continue working together with David. We have already held talks with him and explained what his future career with Werder can look like.”
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In other Reds news, pundit Phil Neville has criticised Klopp for his transfer policy since arriving on Merseyside.
Speaking to Sky Sports show The Debate (h/t Jamie Anderson of the Daily Express), the former Everton defender explained his thoughts on Liverpool’s recruitment.
“There’s a massive problem. We’ve known probably for the last 12 to 18 months that goalkeeper, central defence, they’ve got massive problems.
“I think it’s personnel problems. When I see Liverpool play, they’re fantastic going forwards, as good as anybody. But I don’t think they’re exposed at the back. I don’t think the centre-backs play so wide open, the midfield vacate the space. I think they’re quite well organised. I think they’re individual errors.
“I think at centre-back Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan… if you’re spending £5million on a centre-back, you get £5m worth of quality. You can’t teach concentration. You can’t stop players making individual errors. You’ve just got to change personnel and buy better players.“
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Liverpool have suffered issues in defence before the start of Klopp’s tenure, but the charismatic German has not solved the Reds’ riddle.
The manager’s style of attacking football has seen the team puncture the top four once more, but they appear underprepared for UEFA Champions League football.
Klopp desperately needs to recruit a world-class centre-back or find a young talent with the potential to become a star at the back.
Liverpool have certainly improved during Klopp’s time, but they are still short of being genuine Premier League contenders.
The January transfer window with give Liverpool the chance to strengthen again, but it remains to be seen if Klopp will prioritise a defensive capture.