Following their return to the Champions League after finishing in the Premier League quartet last season, Jurgen Klopp understands the need to and is keen on bolstering his Liverpool squad ahead of the forthcoming season.
The Reds boss has already signed Domini Solanke and Mohamed Salah to strengthen the team’s final third while Andy Robertson has been the only defensive addition so far.
Liverpool leaky defence remain the much needed area to be strengthened this summer as they faltered last season conceding cheap goals. The Merseysiders conceded 42 goals in the Premier League seasons as they managed to qualify for the Champions League.
The defence has been their undoing in the last few seasons and not much has really been done about it. And to avoid a repeat of what is gradually becoming a norm at the club, Liverpool need to bring in Southampton centre-back Virjil Van Dijk
Why Liverpool Must Sign Van Dijk: The Stats and the Qualities
Van Dijk will reportedly cost them around £50 million, but the Saints are not ready to let go of him. Nevertheless, Liverpool still need someone of his calibre to fill the holes in their defence.
The Dutchman will provide the physical presence presently lacking in the Reds defence. His size and aerial strength are added advantage. He is speedy and that makes it easy for him to track back on counter-attacks.
Aside his physical qualities, he is comfortable with the ball at his feet. The Reds defenders were culpable for the cheap goals they conceded last season but as per Opta, Van Dijk has not made error that led to goal in 55 league appearances.
The former Celtic man also has 62.6 per cent of long-pass accuracy in the Premier League last season, an attribute absent in Liverpool defenders. Van Dijk at 25 has shown that he has what it takes to function at the top level.
Another player needed by Liverpool is a defensive midfielder and Nemanja Matic is the mould of player they should go for. The Serb formed a formidable partnership with N’Golo Kante in the midfield as Chelsea won the Premier League title last season. He has been linked with a move to Manchester United but Liverpool can still steal a march on United.
Matic is a complete defensive midfielder, strong in the air, can break up play, distribute the excellently and contribute to the attack. He has an impressive ball winning ratio.
Signing the two players will boost Liverpool defence the more next season.