Liverpool have been linked with a number of central defenders with regards to a summer transfer to Anfield, as the Reds search for replacements for the retiring Jamie Carragher. One of the recurring names is that of Lazio defender Modibo Diakite.
Diakite has been heavily rumoured to be joining the Reds in the summer upon the expiration of his Lazio contract, with ESPN reporting that the player himself favours a move to Anfield.
Liverpool might be rumoured to be heavily interested in signing the player, but any decisions that they—or any other club—make on Diakite will be largely based on their impressions of him from previous campaigns. Having been a mainstay of the Lazio team last season, making 36 appearances in all competitions, he has been entirely marginalised this term, playing just a single cup match all season.
In fact, Diakite has not even made the matchday squad for his team for the past 13 Serie A matches, and has been on the subs' bench on only six occasions, as he runs down his contract in Italy.
Stylistically, Diakite is a physical, powerful defender who revels in the one-on-one battle with an attacker. His pace and athletic prowess, particularly in aerial battles, make him a formidable opponent to try and directly take on.
He does not, though, look quite as comfortable on the ball. Though unafraid of breaking forward quickly to support transition phases of play, Diakite is hardly the archetypal ball-playing defender and lacks the technical ability to consistently be a link from defence to midfield.
For Liverpool, Diakite perhaps resembles the chance to increase the depth in the squad without splashing out a large fee. His status as a Bosman free transfer will allow the Reds to add some experience to the side, and perhaps a player with something to prove having not figured this season. At 26 years old, he also brings a little more experience to a young squad.
He might not be a direct replacement for the outgoing Jamie Carragher, but if perhaps Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates are both also leaving, Diakite will be the start of the restructuring of the back line.