With big expectations this year, Liverpool has been busy as ever in the transfer market though most of their acquisitions have been to their midfield. Only recently did Liverpool start addressing their defensive concerns by signing left back Jose Enrique from Newcastle. Now reports suggest that the Reds are on the verge of signing another defender in Uruguayan Sebastian Coates who could be a quality addition for both the present and the future.
The 20 year old center back has emerged as a rising talent in Uruguay. Known as “Luganito” after Uruguayan stalwart Diego Lugano, Coates has shown his promise with Club Nacional de Football since 2009. However, it was his form for the national team in the 2011 Copa America which turned heads. He was awarded the Copa America Young Player of the Tournament for his solid defensive performances which helped Uruguay earn their record 15th Copa America title.
Coates recently attracted a lot of interest from European clubs such as Manchester City, Arsenal, Shakhtar Donetsk, as well as interest from Italy but the South American looks to be bound for Merseyside. Officials from Club Nacional are expecting him to sign with Liverpool whose offer looks likely to be around €8 million. Coates has already admitted his intentions of joining Liverpool and has stated that he looks forward to joining international teammate Luis Suarez. According to Coates, Suarez has been a driving force in convincing Kenny Dalglish and club officials to go after the (6 ft 6 in) central defender.
After defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos was transferred to Wolfsburg, Dalglish needed to add defensive help. While he is young and needs to improve in terms of focus and positional awareness, Coates is a potential rock that will no doubt improve Liverpool’s backline. His height gives him a great advantage in warding off crosses and his physical strength will be a dominating presence in the box. He is also surprisingly quick for his frame and his speed will allow him to cover a lot of the pitch.
Regarding his expected move to Liverpool, Coates stated “It’s a club with a lot of tradition and history in English football, and the fact that Luis [Suarez] is there is a great help for me.” Coates will join Liverpool’s defense which already has three center backs in Daniel Agger, Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel. This will allow Coates time to ease into life in England and make the transition to the Premier League. It is not likely to be long before Coates could make an impact in Liverpool.
Liverpool is wrapping up all the final details before the deal can be made official. Coates looks to be Dalglish’s answer to the emergence of Manchester United center backs Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. Coates could become a regular in the starting eleven as the season progresses in a year where Liverpool strives to reclaim the status of an elite club in England.