Why This Complete Defender Could Be The One To Solve Liverpool’s Defensive Woes

Transfer rumours are like the seeds of a dandelion, light and fluffy fly away over time but there are some rumours which grow in strength and similar is the case of Virgil van Dijk of Southampton.

It is surprising that all the major clubs of England failed to register an interest in the summer for the Dutch centre-back deemed as probably one of the best in the Premier League now. Except for Arsenal, who strengthened their defence very well in the summer and for maybe even Spurs’ whose defence was already well set, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City have all been in the market looking for that final piece of the jigsaw in the defensive sector that can stabilise the squad immensely.

Liverpool now, according to English media, have emerged as the front-runners for the centre-back. Liverpool’s attack has been scintillating with pacey link-ups and clinical finishing at times but as much as the attack has flourished, the defence has been a major let down.

Joel Matip arrived from Schalke in the summer and the lad has done well but Liverpool need a much solid centre-back partnership at the back than what they have now. They have kept the lowest number of clean sheets (2) after Crystal Palace (0), Sunderland and Hull both at 1 each. The path from the South-coast to Merseyside has been a familiar one of the past with 5 ex-Southampton players marching down that road to sign for Liverpool with Sadio Mane joining in the summer being the latest.

Van Dijk undoubtedly will be an upgrade to the options Liverpool have at the back. Statistically speaking, there is a level of consistency the Dutchman brings to his game. Since last season to this won, he’s won an average 65% of the duels and his average passing accuracy hasn’t stooped below 83% which also indicates that he’s one of the best ball-playing centre-backs across Europe.

He’s won 73% of the average take-ons according to Squawka.com and his average tackling success rate has been 58% which means he wins more than every 1 of two tackles. Aerially too, the lad is stupendous with the headed duels won being above 70% on an average scale. When teams usually need a goal, a more direct approach aerially is taken and van Dijk would nullify this well.

Patching the defence seems to be the top priority for Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool in the winter transfer window with the club seriously challenging for the Premier title. The recent result away at Bournemouth saw the reds get beaten, conceding four goals and that left them looking at the gap that’s opened up between them and the leaders Chelsea and a defensive acquisition should be on the radar.

If van Dijk is available, then Klopp must not hesitate. He’ll be that one piece who’ll help Liverpool to challenge for the title.

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