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Rumor Mongering: Liverpool Battle Man City, Man United for Ligue 1 Defender

Lille teenager Leny Yoro is being lined up as a January signing as Liverpool seek reinforcements following Joel Matip’s injury. 

Lille OSC v Toulouse FC - Ligue 1 Uber Eats Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

With Joel Matip’s ACL injury calling time on his season, and likely his Liverpool career at the expiry of his contract in the summer, Liverpool have started to look light in the center of their defense. While Virgil Van Dijk is an ever present in the back line, it is the options manager Jurgen Klopp has to partner his captain that are cause for concern.

Although Ibrahima Konate’s quality has never been in doubt and Joe Gomez has acquitted himself reasonably well when called upon in his favored center half position, the pair’s spotty injury records suggests that it will be difficult to expect them to both to remain fully available if Liverpool are still in it with a shout at the pointy end of the season. And while Jarell Quansah has showed impressive promise, the 20-year-old is still in his maiden year of first team football and ideally should not be relied on for the run in.

Enter highly touted Lille center back, Leny Yoro, who French outlet Le10Sport have claimed is on Liverpool’s winter wish list for a January swoop. Although at 18-years-old, the French defender is two years younger than Quansah, the lanky teenager has already made 18 appearances for Lille, scoring twice.

Yoro has played a crucial role in manning Ligue 1’s second-stingiest defense and has displayed exceptional ability on the ball with a passing accuracy of 91%.

Manchester City and Manchester United have also been linked to a move for the youngster, although it’s difficult to see the appeal of either considering that the defending champions currently field £240m worth of central defenders in their squad, while United boast the November Premier League player of the month, Harry Maguire blocking the pathway to minutes.

All of which suggests that, of the three rumored suitors, Liverpool appear to be Yoro’s best pathway to game time while also not being a complete dumpster fire. Whether an 18-year-old is able come into a side challenging for titles and contribute more than the likes of Quansah remains to be seen, but this is an intriguing rumor nonetheless.

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