Everyone knew exactly what Liverpool needed this summer in the transfer window - defensive reinforcements.
Jurgen Klopp’s side conceded 42 goals in the Premier League last season - nine more than champions Chelsea and 16 more than Spurs.
It was a tally that ultimately cost them a genuine title challenge as they failed to keep up with the pace set by Chelsea, falling by the wayside after January.
But Klopp seemed to know exactly what he needed.
The transfer window had barely opened when it appeared he had agreed a deal with Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk.
He may have agreed a deal with the Dutchman but Southampton weren’t having any of it. They were soon reporting Liverpool to the Premier League for their illegal approach, resulting in the Merseysiders apologising for their actions.
In that apology, the club explained how they would be withdrawing their interest in the 25-year-old but they were still expecting to go back in for Van Dijk before the end of the transfer window.
In fact, even on the final day of the transfer window, everyone was waiting for the Reds to make a last-gasp attempt to sign the centre-back.
But it never came. And neither did an attempt to sign an alternative.
And it hasn’t taken long for everyone to see how much of a mistake it was.
Liverpool have already conceded 16 goals in 12 matches in all competitions this season with a centre-back pairing of Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip clearly not good enough for the club to challenge for honours come the end of the season.
Klopp turned down alternatives
According to Dominic King of the Daily Mail, Klopp “was happy to let Davinson Sanchez leave Ajax to join Tottenham and had no interest in paying the money Napoli wanted for Kalidou Koulibaly.”
Liverpool will go back in for Van Dijk
But what will happen in January? Will Klopp go back in for Van Dijk - or an alternative defender?
Well, according to the report in the Daily Mail, there’s every change Liverpool will try again for Van Dijk in the winter transfer window.
“If Southampton show willingness to do business in the future, Liverpool will move for Van Dijk in a heartbeat but, until then, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip have his total backing,” King writes.
January can’t come soon enough.
Van Dijk actually made his long-awaited return to the Southampton starting line-up last weekend - his first start since injuring his knee in January.
And it didn’t exactly go well.
He gave away a penalty as the Saints fell to a 2-1 loss to Stoke.
Keep up that kind of performance and Van Dijk will fit in at Liverpool perfectly.
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