Cautious Liverpool fans could be forgiven any trepidation upon discovering their beloved Reds are looking to import a Greek centre-half this summer after the debacle involving the last.
Financial limitations proved the driving factor behind Rafa Benitez’s £2m acquisition of Sotirios Kyrgiakos from AEK Athens, but the ferocious centre-back will be remembered as anything but a shrewd signing.
Laborious, cumbersome and extremely error-prone, the former Rangers stopper lasted just one full season on Merseyside before being banished to the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg.
It’s here where the Reds will return when looking to bolster their backline in the summer, with Schalke’s Kyriakos Papadopoulos believed to be top of Brendan Rodgers’ centre-back shopping list.
Competition for his signature takes the form of Bayer Leverkusen, who have offered £4.4m to make the Greece international’s BayArena loan stay permanent.
However, it’s reported worldly Papadopoulos wants to experience life in a different league, which ‘clears the way for Liverpool to move in’ according to the Metro.
Based on this premise, the Reds stand as much a chance of landing him as any outfit based in a division that isn’t in Greece or Germany, but securing his services this summer is a move Kopites should embrace.
Able to play in front of the back four as well as in the heart of defence, the 23-year-old is a commanding figure and especially strong for his size.
At six foot, he doesn’t rank as the tallest centre-half on the circuit, but he is just as mobile as his loftier contemporaries, while an excellent spring ensures he isn’t susceptible in the air.
Papadopoulos has started just six league games this season having been out injured for eight months, but has returned to fitness in time to help his temporary team secure a Champions League berth.
Nailing a seat at Europe’s top table may well give Bayer the advantage in this particular pursuit, meaning Liverpool will likely have to match the feat in order to succeed in this transfer tussle.
It’s 12/1 Rodgers’ troops win the title this term with Manchester City and Chelsea removed from the reckoning, which is sure to guarantee them a top-four finish.