Replacing Jamie Carragher: A Look at the CB Options of Liverpool's Future
For as long as Liverpool supporters can remember, there have been three certainties in life: death, taxes and Jamie Carragher patrolling the back line. The Merseyside-born defender (who was actually brought up as an Everton supporter) has been Liverpool’s centerpiece for over 500 games. However, despite fighting his way into the starting 11 (and finally finding his shooting boots), Carragher has decided to call it quits on a career that included 38 international caps, two FA Cups and a European Championship.
While losing their most vocal defender is obviously a big blow for a Liverpool side that has been struggling to compete, the club has already taken steps towards replacing the retiring legend. Here are a few potential options for replacing the beloved vice captain.
The Ivorian has been capped 103 times for his national team, while also winning two Premier League titles. While he may not have the pace he once had, the recently signed Toure will make a great mentor for a young Liverpool side.
Liverpool are reportedly interested in the current Schalke CB. The 21-year-old Greek has impressed during his time at the German club, and the Daily Mail claims he has earned interest from Liverpool as well as Milan, Zenit St. Petersburg and and Chelsea. The £19 million man would fit in nicely with the club’s youth policy, and could potentially be the head of the Liverpool defense for years to come.
Papadopoulos has come out and declared his intentions to stay at Schalke to German newspaper Bild (h/t ESPNFC.com), but Liverpool supporters know to take these declarations with a grain of salt.
The Belgian international has stated his admiration for the Reds, with the Liverpool Echo reporting he's gone as far as saying that “Liverpool meets my criteria."
Like Papadopoulos, Alderweireld would fit into the team’s youthful ambitions, as the Ajax man is only 23 years old. Alderweireld is coming off of back-to-back-to-back Eredivisie titles, and would look to bring similar successes to a struggling Liverpool side.
Who better to replace the retiring legend than the man he actually replaced? Martin Skrtel has been, along with Daniel Agger, Liverpool’s first-choice center-back. Despite a massive drop in form this past campaign, Skrtel is still seen as a menacing figure throughout the Premier League.
The team could save a few million pounds by letting the Slovakian international take over. However, the Daily Mail reports he's open to a move away from the club after a miserable season.
The young Uruguayan was bought by the Reds in 2011, and to say he has appeared sporadically is an understatement. Despite scoring an absolutely brilliant goal against QPR in March of 2012, the 22-year-old only featured in 12 games this season, netting once.
Is it finally Coates' time to step up? He finally appears to be a realistic option for a starting job.
Martin Kelly/Andre Wisdom
Finally, there is the youthful tandem that is Kelly and Wisdom, who have become regular squad members for the side (before Kelly’s injury). While both of them have generally plied their trade as full-backs, many believe that the duo would be better suited for a central role, which means Liverpool may give them a chance to go out and compete for the job.
Carragher himself has even spoke on behalf of the youngsters.
Who would you like to see rallying the Liverpool defense? Leave your ideas in a comment below!