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Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp explains why he didn't sign a centre-back this summer

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After conceding 42 goals in the Premier League last season, every Liverpool fan knew where Jurgen Klopp needed to strengthen in the summer transfer window - in defence.

But, despite identifying Virgil van Dijk as his number one transfer priority, the German manager failed to sign him - or any centre-back for that matter.

At the beginning of summer, it looked as though the Reds would sign the Dutchman after reports suggested he had decided he wanted to leave Southampton for Anfield.

But Southampton soon reported the Merseysiders for their illegal approach and Liverpool issued an official apology and withdraw their interest.

That apology came on June 7 - with 12 weeks remaining of the transfer window.

So, why didn’t they sign an alternative?

That question is being asked more and more after defensive mistakes have seen Liverpool leak 13 goals in just seven matches in all competitions.

Klopp explains why he didn't sign a defender

And Klopp has finally answered the question.

“I said if there would have been a solution out there we would have done it. There was no solution," he claimed.

“I cannot speak in this country about any players I tried to get. Give me other centre-halves?”

Norwich City v Southampton - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round

When the names of Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and new Spurs signing Davinson Sanchez were suggested, Klopp said: “No. We watched all of them 500 million times.”

And Klopp even tried defending Dejan Lovren’s awful mistake against Sevilla on Wednesday.

The much-criticised centre-back failed to clear a simple cross, allowing Wissam Ben Yedder to tap home to give the away side the lead. While Liverpool recovered to go 2-1 ahead at half-time, they could only draw 2-2 against the Spanish opponents.

Klopp defends Lovren

But Klopp believes that even the best centre-backs in the world could have made the same mistake as Lovren.

“Just to cool the people down, what if the new player doesn’t hit the first ball (like Lovren against Sevilla) and he makes exactly the same mistake? A mistake they all made in their life – but it is like ‘He is a £65million signing, he will improve,"' Klopp said.

“At the time I thought it had gone through his legs but then I watched it back. Things like this happen and it’s all about reacting to it,” he said.

“I’d give them all the advice: don’t read anything. But with the world of social media that’s quite difficult for the boys. They all know what people think and say in this moment.

FBL-EUR-C1-LIVERPOOL-SEVILLA

“Two people say you’re good and you think ‘okay’, five people say you are bad and it feels like a stitch or whatever. Dejan is not 18 any more. He’s a man, he’s a father of two kids. He can deal with it. I’ve seen much bigger mistakes in my life.

“It is not that we don’t see it, it is not that we don’t want to fix it, it is not that we ignore it. Yes, sometimes there are goals I am angry about."

So, it seems Klopp is more than happy with Lovren at centre-back for the time being. Liverpool fans will just for hoping that he finds a ‘Plan B’ to Van Dijk in January. Or, better still, finally sign the Southampton defender during the winter transfer window.

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Topics:
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