Throughout this unique Premier League season, Liverpool have been plagued by defensive injuries. This has exposed an evident lack of squad depth and has had detrimental effects on their season. As a result, summer reinforcement is likely.

According to La Razon, via LFC Transfer Room, Liverpool have shown interest in Real Betis defender Aïssa Mandi, whose contract expires in the summer.

The 29-year-old centre back has been integral to Betis' impressive season, sitting 6th in La Liga.

His career began at French outfit, Reims, where he played a total of 160 matches. After several years of service, he joined Los Verdiblancos for £2.52 million in 2016

Since then he has become an integral member of their squad and was even named club player of the year in 2018-19.

Mandi (right) will be available on a free this summer after five years in Spain

Mandi (right) will be available on a free this summer after five years in Spain

Mandi also has 59 caps for the Algerian national team. He has played integral roles in both their 2019 AFCON victory and their narrow defeat to eventual champions Germany in the 2014 World Cup knockout stages.

Considering Liverpool's evident need for defensive squad depth, we take a look at whether Mandi would be a good addition to Jurgen Klopp's squad.

Defensive Expertise

Mandi is strong against the dribble, amassing a tackle percentage of 60% so far this season. To put that figure into context, Virgil van Dijk had a success rate of 40% in last season's title winning season. 

The Algerian would provide assurance and experience to Liverpool's backline, having faced the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar during his La Liga career. 

Moreover, he has only been dribbled past two times this whole season, whereas Sergio Ramos, the league's standout defender, has been beaten 21 times. Mandi's resistance would complement the high line Liverpool tend to play. 

On the other hand, his height at only 6'0" could be an issue. He has won 68.8% of his aerial duels so far this season, which falls short of Liverpool's existing options. Mandi may struggle to match the physical demands of the Premier League in a way that players like Virgil van Dijk and Nathaniel Phillips have thrived. 

Going Forward

Liverpool's centre backs have all struggled to provide an attacking outlet since van Dijk's injury. However, Mandi ranks in the 91st percentile among centre backs for non-penalty goals per 90 (0.12). He would help re-establish the Reds' set piece fear factor and release the growing pressure on the frontline to score all the side's goals. 

Klopp enjoys expansive football, which requires defenders that are comfortable to play out from the back. This season, Mandi has a pass completion rate of 91.3%, and in the last four La Liga seasons, he has not finished outside the top six in that category. 

Moreover, he has completed 84.4% of his long passes - ideal for Liverpool who like to beat the press by releasing Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

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Should Liverpool Sign Him?

If Liverpool are short on money, signing Mandi on a free transfer could be a very shrewd move. Moreover, his wage demands would not be high, given Real Betis currently pay him €20,000 per week. 

Importantly, he is not injury prone, having only missed five games since joining Betis in 2016. Therefore, Liverpool could rely on him in case the club were again plagued by defensive injuries. 

Mandi is also versatile, with experience across the whole backline. This would lift weight off the fullbacks' shoulders, allowing them valuable rest time to recharge their batteries. 

On the negative side, the Algerian has a notoriously quick temper. He has already picked up two red cards this season, the most out of any La Liga player. Can Klopp rely on Mandi to keep his head when Liverpool need him most?

On top of this, how much longer can he play at the highest level, considering his age (29)? In an already ageing squad, should Liverpool not be recruiting younger players to benefit the club's long term future?

This season has showed that the club needs defensive reinforcement to boost their squad: will they opt for Mandi's services?