The dust may have just settled on an exciting Euro 2020 tournament that crowned Italy European champions for a second time, but there was an array of defensive stars that impressed throughout.
With the defensive addition of Ibrahima Konaté, who else should Jurgen Klopp turn his attentions to as he continues his summer rebuild.
Yann Sommer – Switzerland
The 32-year-old shot stopper was impressive three years ago at the World Cup and he again pulled off some outstanding saves at this Sommer’s Euros.
His penalty save from France’s Kylian Mbappé will go down in football folklore as the famous moment that saw the Swiss beat the world champions on penalties.
In doing so Switzerland made the quarter-finals, the furthest stage they have reached in an international competition.
They were desperately unlucky to be edged out by Spain on penalties.
Plying his trade with Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga for the past seven years, it might be difficult to prise him away, only to be an understudy to Alisson.
However, if Klopp’s number one keeper were to get injured, like he has done previously, combined with the fixture congestion across four competitions, Sommer would be a smart addition.
With the club looking to offload Loris Karius, and youngster Caoimhin Kelleher seeking first team action elsewhere, upgrading on the error prone 34-year-old Adrián with Sommer could strengthen Liverpool’s goalkeeping options significantly.
A fantastic summer for Sommer may be about to get better, but he won’t come cheap!
Joakim Mæhle – Denmark
One of the stars of Denmark’s magnificent run to the semi-finals, the Atalanta full-back is in demand.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is often played every single game and every week. By January the burnout shows.
The signing of Mæhle would split the workload with the scouse hero and allow him to be adequately rested. This may come in handy for the biggest matches of the season.
It works two-fold that if the England defender was played in midfield higher up the pitch, Mæhle could take his place in defence.
It would certainly make Liverpool less predictable on the right side of defence by switching things up for the first time in four seasons.
Alexander-Arnold may thrive higher up the pitch by sharpening his attacking instincts, leaving Mæhle to make Liverpool stronger defensively.
At 24 years of age, he still has room to improve under Klopp’s tutelage. This shouldn’t be too hard given the Dane’s hard work rate.
Sounds like a match made in heaven if you ask me. Sign him up Jurgen! You won’t regret it.
Denzel Dumfries – Netherlands
Dutch side PSV have admitted they seem to be resigned to losing their big-name players such as Dumfries and Donyell Malen.
Dumfries was superb in the group stages with scoring in the opening two games with the winning goal in the 3-2 victory over Ukraine before grabbing the second against Austria in a 2-0 win.
As with Mæhle, Liverpool could use Dumfries in defence to push Alexander-Arnold further up field. Although, conversely Dumfries could be deployed on the right wing to support TAA, therefore extracting the most from the Dutchman’s deadly counter attacking strengths.
Everton have registered an interest and he will not be short of suitors.
Leonardo Spinazzola – Italy
Built in the mould of legendary Italian left-back Gianluca Zambrotta, Spinazzola had a fine Euros with his lively attacks up the left flank.
Sadly, for Spinazzola, he ruptured his achilles in the 79th minute of Italy’s quarter-final win against Belgium whilst sprinting for the ball. He was inevitably stretchered off putting an early end to his European Championships.
There was a silver lining though as he made UEFA’s team of the tournament.
The 28-year-old has blossomed late in his career but would certainly add competition to Andy Robertson who often plays every game, like TAA, and often feels fatigued halfway into the season.
Kostas Tsimikas has been a bit part player since his arrival at Anfield last summer. If Klopp doesn’t fancy putting his faith in the Greek, then this talented Italian would be a quality option.
Patrick van Aanholt – Netherlands
Some might be surprised by this option but van Aanholt was a solid, dependable member of the Dutch team which swept aside Ukraine, Austria and North Macedonia in Group C to collect maximum points.
Three clean sheets in the group stages showed that van Aanholt can be effective in contributing to defence and attack.
He is also out of contract at Crystal Palace and would add strength in depth, and competition at left-back for Robertson and Tsimikas.
In my next Euros stars special, I will shortlist the midfielders and strikers that Liverpool may consider a summer swoop for.