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Ben Jacobs says Liverpool ‘appreciate the talent’ of Evan Ndicka

Evan Ndicka 2021

Liverpool are coming off the back of five consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League, but it’s easy to forget the Reds were freely shipping goals between January and early-February with 13 conceded in their first seven games of the new year.

Jurgen Klopp has Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konaté, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Nat Phillips to choose from at centre-back, but Konate, Matip and Phillips have been short of playing time this season and might be deemed expendable. Liverpool would need a replacement in defence and Evan Ndicka was named by Ben Jacobs as a potential option.

He told Give Me Sport: “You’ve got a player like Evan Ndicka who’s a free transfer. And that’s exactly the kind of player that Liverpool love because they know there’s value. They appreciate the talent there, so that’s one to watch as well.”

The 23-year-old joined Eintracht Frankfurt from AJ Auxerre in 2018 and has gone on to make 171 appearances in all competitions, scoring 11 goals with 10 assists. Ndicka is out of contract at the Deutsche Bank Park this summer, so Frankfurt could lose him for nothing if they fail to agree a new deal in the coming weeks.

Liverpool may need a centre-back or two

Liverpool spent £35.5m on Konate in 2021, but he started only 11 league games in his debut season and has managed just six this campaign. Injuries have limited his playing time, so Klopp might be considering an upgrade.

As for Matip, the 31-year-old has also been short of opportunities this season, starting just nine league games from a possible 25. Matip is out of contract next year and might not sign a new deal if he’s on the periphery under Klopp.

Ndicka might be a cheap solution at the back as a free transfer, but Liverpool won’t be the only side interested. Sport1 previously said Barcelona were keen on the centre-back but were put off paying €50m (£44.4m) – signing on fee of €15m-a-year (£13.3m-a-year) plus €5m-a-year (£4.4m-a-year) wages until 2028.

Liverpool will have to be mindful of the agent’s demands, as Ndicka won’t end up being a cheap acquisition. They’re sure to have lots of defenders on their shortlist too, so time will tell if they sign the French U21 international from Frankfurt.

Ndicka has helped his side keep five clean sheets in the Bundesliga this season and is first in the squad for clearances (5.1 per game on average), so he’s not a bad option.

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