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Why Liverpool should prioritise signing Virgil van Dijk

Tuesday 26th September 2017
Liverpool's attacking system is unique. With the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino continuing to prove their worth, only a handful of teams has been able to stand up to their attack. However, the Reds defense lacks energy and leadership - Virgil van Dijk is the man to solve that problem.

Liverpool's impaired defense needs strengthening to avoid a repeat of their devastating 2-0 Carabao Cup loss to Leicester City last week. Although Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren are still young and bound to make mistakes at times, a stronger defensive unit must be assembled. It is reported that Liverpool were keen to avail themselves of their defensive issues by signing Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, who has been linked with a move away from St. Mary's Stadium for a while now.

This summer, it was reported that Van Dijk had decided to join Liverpool, but the Saints were not ready to enter into negotiations with the club that continues to raid them of their best players. The likes of Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, and Adam Lallana all moved to Anfield - Southampton wasn't prepared to let another top player join a rival Premier League club.
Van Dijk, who signed a new six-year deal for Southampton last May, was actively pursued until Saints threatened to report Liverpool to the Premier League for illegally tapping-up their player, which saw interest withdrawn. Then, however, the Dutch defender decided to submit a transfer request to Southampton in order to push through a move to Anfield. But it was ignored by his current club. The 26-year-old was forced to remain beyond the summer transfer window, training with the reserve team in a bid to regain his fitness after a foot injury, which saw him miss large parts of last season.

The Dutch defender's price tag is reported to be set at a staggering, £70m. Undoubtedly, he is a talented player, known for taking advantage of his defensive skills in order to dominate the opposition more often than not. Van Dijk's style of play is similar to that of Liverpool. And although the winter transfer window doesn't see as much action as its summer equivalent, a deal could still materialize in January rather than next summer. If they want to keep alive their hopes of maintaining a serious title challenge, Liverpool must do everything to sign Van Dijk as soon as possible.

Standing at six feet, four inches tall, the centre-back would be a major coup for the Reds. Having a talented defender as imposing as Van Dijk could be exactly what Liverpool need. It's from set pieces and aerial duels where they have lost games recently, and signing the Dutchman would go a long way to improving that particular area. The Reds should make a move for the 26-year-old this January.

Irrespective of all other factors, luring Virgil van Dijk to Anfield should be a priority for Jurgen Klopp. He could prove to be the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle and would improve Liverpool's chances of challenging for major honours in the near future.
George Seyi
passionate about everything football, forever loyal to Barcelona

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