Liverpool ensured they reached the knockout phases of the Champions League with a dramatic win over Napoli yesterday in yet another memorable Anfield European night. Although it was an affair predominately dominated by Liverpool, one Napoli man caught the eye of supporters — Kalidou Koulibaly.
Koulibaly, who was effectively a one-man defence at times for the visitors, was immense throughout the 90 minutes and the scoreline could have been much less flattering to the Italians if it weren’t for his display.
Showing the acceleration and physicality that makes him one of the most sought after defenders in Europe, Koulibaly dealt with Liverpool’s attacks well and apart from (thankfully) getting spun by Salah on one occasion for Liverpool’s goal, he was an imperious presence and had fans salivating at the prospect of a partnership between him and Virgil Van Dijk on Twitter:
Fair play to Kalidou Koulibaly, that lad is proper fast considering he’s built like a fridge
— LFC Stanley House (@LFCStanleyHouse) December 12, 2018
Just imagine a Koulibaly and Van Dijk partnership. My god..
— Anfield Leak (@AnfieldLeak) December 12, 2018
Koulibaly, although skinned alive by Salah, was immense. If we signed him – VvD, Koul & Alisson wouldn't concede ever. It would be a real life cheat code.
— Rex (@ThatRexGuy) December 12, 2018
Imagine Klopp went for Koulibaly to play with Van Dijk? I reckon the monopolies commission would put a stop to it! #LFC
— Graeme Kelly (@GraemeKelly1) December 11, 2018
On an absolutely serious note, can we please sign Koulibaly to partner VVD?
Because if we do, the only goals we will concede would be when Alisson gets bored and just kicks it into the net. Twice a season, not more
— Alexey Yaroshevsky (@YaroLFC) December 12, 2018
Although there’s little denying Koulibaly and Van Dijk would be the finest centre-back pairing in Europe, you have to wonder if signing him would be predatory to Joe Gomez’s development.
The young defender has come on leaps and bounds alongside Van Dijk this season and signing Koulibaly would resign him to a backup role, which wouldn’t be beneficiary, especially considering the £90m or so that Napoli apparently want for his signature.
As long as he doesn’t move to Manchester United, which has been mooted recently, that’s the most important thing…