Three centre-backs Liverpool can sign to be Virgil van Dijk's eventual successor

  • Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk will turn 33 this summer
  • The Reds will need to find a successor for the Dutch defender soon
  • So, who can eventually take over van Dijk’s spot?
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v VfB Stuttgart - Bundesliga
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v VfB Stuttgart - Bundesliga / Jürgen Fromme - firo sportphoto/GettyImages
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Captain Virgil van Dijk still has some fuel left in his tank, putting in consistent top performances this past season with Liverpool. However, the 32—soon-to-be 33-year-old defender is not getting any younger, and the club may be in search of his successor soon. It is reported that Liverpool will specifically target a left-footed centre-back this summer. So, who fits the frame for an eventual successor to van Dijk?

Three centre-backs Liverpool can sign to be Virgil van Dijk's eventual successor

1. Piero Hincapie - Bayer Leverkusen

The Ecuadorian centre-back enjoyed a phenomenal season with Leverkusen under Xabi Alonso, going undefeated in the Bundesliga and winning the DFB-pokal. Before this past season, Hincapie had already been strongly linked to the Premier League, mainly to Spurs, but now his stock has risen even higher.

Hincapie initially struggled to earn starting minutes under Alonso in the Bundesliga, including serving a red card suspension during the opening three matches for an offence committed in the 2022-23 season. However, Hincapie finished the season as a regular in the German champions' starting XI, only sometimes resting in the league to focus on Europa League play.

The 22-year-old's biggest strength is his mobility. Hincapie is not prone to long-ball play like some centre-backs; rather, he can heavily involve himself in build-up play and possesses a strong ability to move the ball forward. Hincapie drifts forward often into attack, as under Alonso, he is most often deployed as the left-sided centre-back in a back three.

Stylistically, he is much different than van Dijk. So, as much as he could be a successor in the literal sense of eventually taking his spot, Hincapie offers a much different presence at the back. Hincapie's defensive abilities are often limited to his tackles, which he makes much higher up the pitch due to his ability to get forward. That said, when he gets stuck in, more often than not, he is successful in winning his duels.

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