Steven Defour Could Follow Jovanović From Standard Liège To Liverpool

Sean HartnettCorrespondent IJuly 13, 2010

LIEGE, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 02:  Steven Defour of Standard Liege celebrates on the final whistle after victory in the UEFA Cup first round, second leg match, between Standard Liege and Everton at Stade Maurice Dufrasne, on October 2, 2008 in Liege,Belgium.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool could be set to beat Premier League rivals Manchester United for all-around Belgian midfielder Steven Defour.  The 22 year-old can play in any role across the midfield and is considered one of Europe's most promising young talents.

Milan Jovanović has just arrived at Anfield and the talented Defour may be following his former Standard Liège teammate in a potential move to the Merseyside giants.  Roy Hodgson could make the Liège captain his first signing since taking charge at Liverpool for a fee around £10 million.

Defour has been tracked by Manchester United, Real Madrid, Liverpool, and Arsenal from a young age and has been a key member of the Belgian national team since turning 18. His influence at Liège helped the club win Belgian Jupiler League title for the first time in 25 years in 2008 and follow that up with another league title the following season. 

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez was a keen admirer of the play-maker and almost acquired him before settling upon Alberto Aquilani.

To land a player whom Sir Alex Ferguson has been following since a young age would be a huge coup for Liverpool who are trying to rebuild their squad after a shocking 7th place finish in Benítez's final season in charge.  Both Javier Mascherano and Lucas Leiva have been strongly linked with moves away from the club and Defour would be a much-needed signing as the squad transforms under Hodgson.

Defour is hailed for his technique, long-passing ability, creativity, and exceptional stamina.  The Belgian ace is seen as a player who works extremely hard and is a "box-to-box" midfielder who is always willing to track back and retain possession.  His flexibility is an asset as he can be used centrally as an attacking or defensive midfielder, or out on the wings.

He has spoken of his eagerness to move to the Premier League in past interviews.  To play at a club as respected as Liverpool and to learn under the influence of Steven Gerrard would be the perfect move for Defour.  If Hodgson can pull off the deal ahead of rivals Manchester United, Liverpool could be a getting a very talented footballer who is regarded as a future star and is young enough to still develop his abilities.