Liverpool faced Southampton this past weekend in the Premier League and as we know a number of Reds players used to play for the Saints and there could soon be another player moving to Merseyside from the South coast.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are explosive in attack as Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino plus magic Mo Salah’s 14 goals in 19 games have shown. The clear issue which is plain to see is the defensive personnel.
Undoubtedly Liverpool have missed England right-back Nathaniel Clyne and James Milner has previously had to play left-back in light of there being no other options but full-backs Alberto Moreno and Joe Gomez have actually played quite well this season and are by no means the biggest part of the club’s problems at the back.
Rotating Simon Mignolet and Lorus Karius may not be helping the understanding amongst the defensive unit but the real issues are in the centre of defence where Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip are just not delivering the type of defensive solidity Liverpool have so badly needed for the past few seasons.
The Reds need a world-class centre-back (or even two world-class centre-backs) who can not just be a brilliant defender but can also lead the team and is coming into his prime. Who is such a player?
We all know about the botched attempt to sign Virgil Van Dijk this past summer but it now seems like the deal could be re-ignited in the January transfer window according to the Mirror and the big Dutchman would be the perfect addition to the Reds.
Southampton may be willing to do a deal now since they have proved their point to both their players and other clubs that they are perfectly able to keep top talent and will not be bullied by big money offers or pressure from disgruntled stars.
Speaking recently new Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino revealed he could not be 100% sure Van Dijk will still be a Southampton player when the upcoming winter transfer window closes.
Pellegrino said: “I don’t know. I can’t control the market.
“You never know, because when we talk about money everybody has got a price.
“The budget is to sign players and the biggest teams have got money to try to sign players.
“I can’t decide about that. This is a question for our owners.
“Everybody is focused on their area, to try to bring the best players possible for their club. It is something that happens every single transfer window.
“We have got a lot of good players and most of the teams want to sign them.”
The reported fee for Virgil Van Dijk was £50million in the summer when other clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal were also linked with signing the dominating Southampton centre-back but now it would seem his valuation has only increased to a whopping £70million.
Jurgen Klopp had the perfect opportunity to evaluate the Dutchman this past weekend during Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Anfield and following the apology Liverpool gave to Southampton regarding their previous attempt to sign Van Dijk and the healing that time provides it seems like a deal could possibly now be done.
Let’s hope if it’s not Virgil Van Dijk Liverpool sign then they can secure someone like Roma’s Kostas Manolas, PSG’s Marquinhos or Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly who are all truly top-class. Whatever Liverpool do they will need to spend major money to sign such a defender but the financial outlay is long overdue to address the centre of their defence.