Improving a defence that has conceded the most goals of any side in the Premier League’s top seven will surely be one of Jurgen Klopp’s priorities in the transfer market this summer. Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip have proved capable if unspectacular at the heart of defence, whilst Klopp’s other options – Lucas Leiva and Ragnar Klavan – leave much to be desired.
And one potential addition already on his radar, according to The Daily Mail, is Southampton’s imperious defender Virgil van Dijk, who was enjoying an incredible season at St. Mary’s and making a real case for himself as the best centre-back in the Premier League before suffering an injury in January that has rendered him sidelined for the remainder of the campaign.
Chelsea and Manchester City are also reportedly eager to snap up the Netherlands international and looking at his returns from 2016/17, it’s not hard to see why. As our infographic shows, van Dijk has not only been a dominant force defensively, racking up a whole host of tackles, interceptions, clearances and aerial duels won, but also contributed heavily on the ball, with almost 800 passes and nearly one effort at goal per appearance.
Indeed, the 25-year-old has emerged as one of the most complete defenders in Europe – which makes him a pretty strong candidate for Chelsea’s ball-playing back three – and although Southampton will be determined to keep hold of him, it seems almost inevitable he’ll join one of the Premier League’s top clubs this summer.