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In profile: Kyriakos Papadopoulos

Following reports that Liverpool want to sign Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the Greek defender.

When recent reports suggested that Liverpool have revived their interest in Kyriakos Papadopoulos, it sent a shudder down the spines of commentators up and down England. You can just hear the likes of Alan Smith and Niall Quinn trying to get their tongues around that surname!

Then there are the parents of all the young supporters of the Reds, desperately hoping that if the Greek defender does sign, their child does not want his name on the back of their new shirt. That would cost a small fortune - have Lucas instead!

On the pitch, though, what would the Merseysiders be getting for their money?

An expensive name to get on the back of your shirt, but speculation claims that Kyriakos Papadopoulos is close to signing on at Anfield.© PA Photos

At the age of 21, the centre-back has managed to feature in just under 150 matches for club and country. Considering that he plays in such a vital position, that is no mean feat and it shows that his coaches have strong faith in his ability. It would in fact have been even more but for a knee injury, which limited him to just 16 appearances in all competitions last season.

He arrived with his German employers from Olympiacos in 2010 and manager Ralf Rangnick thought nothing of throwing the teenager into a Champions League semi-final against Manchester United. Schalke lost over the two legs, but Papadopoulos impressed against the likes of Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov.

His stock continued to rise and he was named as part of the Greece squad for last year's European Championships. He started in his nation's second and third group matches, as well as their quarter-final loss to Germany.

Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Kostas Mitroglou on November 21, 2012© AP Photos

In terms of his style, he has been compared to Man United skipper Nemanja Vidic. While he may not be the most cultured defender, he is willing to put his body on the line to block a shot and is rarely beaten in the air. Papadopoulos would be the ideal partner for a ball-playing central defender - Daniel Agger for example.

He has also shown that he is a threat in the opposition's penalty area, having scored seven goals for Schalke in the last two seasons. He also can boast four more at international level.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has shown with his signings already this summer that he is keen to add youth to his squad (with the exception of Kolo Toure) and still being seven months short of his 22nd birthday, Papadopoulos fits that bill. A number of European clubs are said to be keen on his services, though, so that sooner an agreement is reached, the better as far as Liverpool are concerned.

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An expensive name to get on the back of your shirt, but speculation claims that Kyriakos Papadopoulos is close to signing on at Anfield.
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