The 21-year-old Greek defender has been targeted by Liverpool as they look to reshape their defence over the summer, and Papadopoulos would be an excellent acquisition to replace the talismanic Carragher.
It might be odd to say that one of this summer’s big transfer battles will be over a 21-year-old who only started 14 games this season, but looking at the names linked with Kyriakos Papadopoulos it is clear that his knee injury has not dissuaded sides of his potential.
Liverpool are reportedly leading Manchester City, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid in a race for the Schalke centre back, with Reds keen to begin rebuilding their defence as quickly as possible this summer.
They have shown plenty of ambition in targeting Papadopoulos, and it is notable that not only have his current club Schalke booked a place in next season’s Champions League, so have the other three clubs linked with a move for the Greek defender.
Without any European football, Liverpool will be hoping to steal a march on their rivals to try and snap up Papadopoulos quickly, with a bid of around £12million expected to be enough to convince the German club to sell.
In the limited appearances he did make this season, Papadopoulos demonstrated the talent that has made so coveted around Europe. He is a dominant physical presence both in aerial duels and when tackling, and is a fine reader of the game in terms of intercepting opposition attacks.
Papadopoulos is also comfortable with the ball at his feet, something that is a requirement at Anfield, and his only notable weakness is that he can struggle when left one on one with a nimble attacker.
He missed the second half of this season after undergoing surgery on his knee in December, but has made a full recovery and this lay-off might even have helped Liverpool as it stopped Papadopoulos’ reputation growing further throughout the season.
With Ashley Williams viewed as too expensive for his age, and Toby Alderweireld seemingly set on a move elsewhere, Papadopoulos looks like the best option as a long term solution in Liverpool’s defence, and the Greek might well be the man to fill Carragher’s immense shoes at Anfield.
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