Date: 7th April 2020 at 5:00pm
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Liverpool are leading the race to sign Sevilla defender Diego Carlos this summer, according to a report from Spanish media outlet Estadio Deportivo [via Sport Witness].

Estadio Deportivo claimed that the Reds are joined in the pursuit of the 27-year-old by Real Madrid and city rivals Atletico and he will not come cheap – he has a release clause of €70m (£61.64m) in his contract and the Andalucian club are determined not to let him leave for anything less.

The Brazilian is not the only centre-back reportedly being targeted by the Premier League leaders – Football Insider claimed that Liverpool scouts have been highly impressed by £20m-rated (as per The Argus) Ben White, who is on at Leeds from Brighton.

Why might Liverpool be interested in Diego Carlos?

The Reds’ targeting of Carlos is quite likely linked to the anticipated exit of Dejan Lovren this summer, with James Pearce claiming on Twitter (@JamesPearceLFC, via @AnfieldEdition) that the Anfield club would accept offers of £15m for the Croatian. Should the 30-year-old depart Merseyside, it would leave Jurgen Klopp with just three senior centre-backs, hence Liverpool’s pursuit of a replacement for Lovren.

Carlos has been a fixture in Sevilla’s starting line-up throughout the season, scoring twice in 31 games in 2019/20. A match average of 5.1 clearances indicates that he is a no-nonsense defender whose first instinct is to stave off danger and that figure is better than the 4.7 clearances per game average of Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool’s market leader for that metric.

In terms of disrupting opposition attacks, he averages 1.2 successful tackles and one interception per game – the former figure is higher than the averages posted by Joe Gomez (0.9 tackles per game) and Van Dijk (0.8 per game), with the Dutchman and Lovren also posting one interception per game this season (as per WhoScored).

Would he be preferable to Ben White as a Liverpool target?

Although Carlos’ figures mark him out as a robust defender, he can sometimes take that too far, with eight yellow cards to his name so far this season. Also, he is not the most comfortable player in possession – his passing success rate of 82.6% is lower than each of Liverpool’s four senior centre-backs and significantly behind Van Dijk’s 89.2% and Gomez’s 88.4% (as per WhoScored).

As noted by Soccersouls, “Liverpool’s ‘Gegenpressing’ philosophy under Klopp has always seen them play the ball out with short exchanges from the back”. White seems more suited than Carlos to the Reds’ philosophy, with a superior passing rate of 85.3% and a greater ability to bring the ball out from the back (0.6 successful dribbles per game to 0.3). Also, the English youngster’s reported asking price is far lower than that of the Sevilla defender, leaving little doubt as to which player seems better value for money.

Liverpool may well need to bring in a central defender this summer if Lovren goes but Carlos appears overpriced considering that he seemingly wouldn’t fit in with the Reds’ aptitude for playing the ball out from defence and considering that White, who seems better suited to that strategy, has a much more economical valuation.

Liverpool fans, would you rather sign Carlos or White if given the choice of only one to have at Anfield? Join in the discussion by commenting below!