Speaking recently on the Here We Go podcast, Fabrizio Romano claimed that Liverpool turned down the chance to sign Sokratis Papastathopoulos this month.
Following potentially season-ending injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, as well the repeating fitness issues of Joel Matip, Jurgen Klopp has often be left without all three of his senior centre-back’s so far this season.
However, despite this, it appears as if the Reds will not be entering the January market to provide their manager with greater depth in the position, a decision which could carry serious consequences in the club’s defence of their Premier League crown as well as their progression in the Champions League.
And, speaking on a recent episode of the Here We Go podcast, Romano claimed that Liverpool turned down the opportunity to sign Arsenal centre-back, Sokratis Papastathopoulos – who has previously played under Klopp while at Borussia Dortmund – prior to the £3.2 million-rated 32-year-old’s free transfer to Olympiacos.
He said: “We can finally add about the situation of Sokratis because one week ago we mentioned about this opportunity of Sokratis Papastathopoulos joining Liverpool. He was offered to Liverpool as a possibility because of the relationship between Sokratis and Klopp since [their time at] Borussia Dortmund.
“So, he was really a possibility for Liverpool – [he was] offered [to Liverpool] but Liverpool never considered him the perfect player. They said, ‘We sign a perfect centre-back or nothing’ and they decided to go for nothing.”
Should Liverpool have signed Sokratis?
TIF Thoughts on Fabrizio Romano’s comments regarding Sokratis Papastathopoulos…
While Sokratis struggled for game time throughout his spell in north London, when on the pitch, the centre-back’s performances were actually rather impressive, with the 32-year-old averaging a WhoScored match rating of 6.82 over his 25 Premier League appearances in the 2018/19 season, as well as an identical rating of 6.82 over his 19 league fixtures last season.
As such, perhaps Liverpool could have taken a chance on offering Sokratis a short-term contract until the end of the season, if nothing else for providing Klopp with another player capable of operating naturally in the position, which would help him avoid the situation of having to play either of Fabinho or Jordan Henderson in the heart of his defence, as he has often this season.