COMMENT By Matt Farr
Liverpool will achieve their dream of winning the Premier League title this season if they sign Pepe from Real Madrid.
The Portuguese defender is out of contract in the summer, and can therefore negotiate with other clubs from January and join a foreign outfit for free next month.
Spanish newspaper AS believes Real Madrid want to keep Pepe at the club, but negotiations over an extended deal have yet to begin – and Liverpool should take full advantage. And he would cost them absolutely nothing.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have received high praise for their attacking displays this season, scoring 35 league goals in just 14 games this season. However, defensively, they have been much less impressive.
Liverpool have conceded 18 goals in the same period, which is more than any of their title rivals, and any side in the top six.
They paid the price last weekend in the 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth, surrendering a two-goal lead with just 15 minutes left on the clock.
The defeat saw Liverpool drop to third in the Premier League, four points off current league leaders Arsenal.
Klopp made several defensive changes to his side this summer, including the signing of Ragnar Klavan, Joel Matip and Loris Karius, but Liverpool’s performances throughout the first-half of the campaign suggest that more changes will need to be made, and Klopp should look to Pepe for his vast experience and match-winning nous.
There may be concerns over Pepe’s age, but even at 33-years-old the Portugal international continues to prove he still has what it takes to play at the highest level.
He played a major role in Portugal’s road to the European Championship title last summer, and was in exceptional form as Real Madrid lifted the Champions League last year.
The defender has made 10 appearances in all competitions for Real Madrid this season, and manager Zinedine Zidane considers himself a valuable player to have in the squad. Even if 23-year-old Raphael Varane is the preferred choice to partner Sergio Ramos.
Pepe could transform Liverpool’s defence and title bid, and could provide them with the much-needed leader they are currently lacking at the heart of the defence.
In other Liverpool news, Jamie Carragher believes this player must start against West Ham.