A solid backline is essential for developing a squad that can compete on all fronts. We’ve witnessed how much Liverpool has improved since Virgil van Dijk joined the club in December 2017. They were a young team that was thrilling to watch, but after the addition of a world-class centre-back, they became title contenders.
Manchester City signed Ruben Dias, the 2021 Premier League Player of the Season, last summer. He was one of the most important signings of the 2020-21 season, demonstrating once again how much a good centre-back can benefit a squad.
Several European powerhouses are aiming to bolster their rosters this summer. A number of teams are focusing on repairing their weak defenses, and we could see a lot of centre-backs transfer sides in the coming weeks.
Without further ado, here are five of the best centre-backs on the market this summer.
Pau Torres (#5) (Villarreal)
Pau Torres had a fantastic season with Villarreal in 2020-21. He was a key figure in Villarreal’s UEFA Europa League victory. The 24-year-old has attracted the attention of a number of elite clubs and is expected to leave this summer.
Torres has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United. Many European giants have taken notice of his outstanding ball-playing abilities. However, before he can become the finished product, he must develop crucial defensive qualities.
Real Madrid has also expressed an interest in signing the Spaniard. Los Blancos’ defense has to be strengthened. Their backline has a Sergio Ramos-shaped hole, and Raphael Varane is expected to move in quest of new challenges.
Sven Botman, #4 (LOSC Lille)
LOSC Lille won Ligue 1 this season after a fantastic league campaign, defeating Paris Saint-Germain. They earned the league’s best defensive record, surrendering only 23 goals in 38 games.
Sven Botman, a 21-year-old Dutch defender, has been one of their top performers this season. Botman, who is 6’4″ tall, dominating aerial battles. He’s young and brash, and he has the rest of his career ahead of him.
Botman’s season has piqued the interest of several clubs, according to Fabrizio Romano. The teenager has also been linked with Atalanta and Inter Milan. According to Calciomercato.com, Nerazzurri Sporting Director Piero Ausilio is a fan of Botman and would like to sign him this summer.
One thing is certain: Lille will have their work cut out for them in convincing the young Dutchman to stay beyond the summer.