In Focus: Liverpool need a defensive midfielder on top of Van Dijk to solve issues

According to reports in the Sunday World, via Independent.ie, Liverpool are close to agreeing a £70m deal to sign Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk during the January transfer window.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Sunday World, via Independent.ie, says that the Reds have been given the green light to negotiate with Saints over a deal for the Netherlands international, after they were forced to apologise publicly in June after being accused of tapping the 26-year-old up.

Despite being initially unwelcome to meet the south coast outfit’s price tag for van Dijk – a world record for a defender – the Sunday World, via Independent.ie, says that the Merseyside outfit are now ready to smash their transfer record to get Jurgen Klopp’s top target.

The report adds the progress in discussions between the two clubs has been the reason that the Dutchman was left on the substitutes’ bench against Chelsea, and then out of the squad altogether for the 1-1 draw against Huddersfield Town at St Mary’s on Saturday.

How has van Dijk done this season?

The 26-year-old had to work his way back into Mauricio Pellegrino’s plans having handed in an unsuccessful transfer request just days before the new Premier League season, and he started 10 Premier League matches in a row prior to being left out against Chelsea.

It has been clear to see that the centre-back hasn’t quite got back to the level that he has shown for Southampton previously and before he suffered an injury that kept him on the sidelines for eight months in January, although he has still shown that he is strong in the air and calm in possession.

Is this a good deal for Liverpool?

It’s difficult to say.

While van Dijk is clearly an upgrade on the centre-back options the Reds currently have, the reported £70m price tag is extravagant to say the least.

The Dutchman will be a good signing for Liverpool, but you can’t help but feel that their current system doesn’t work and they also need a defensive midfielder in addition to the Dutchman in order to protect the backline and concede fewer goals.

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