In Focus: Liverpool look to improve defence with Serie A defender

Liverpool failed to bolster their defensive line significantly in the summer but will renew their attempts next year, as Calcio Mercato state the Reds have set their sights on Lazio’s Stefan De Vrij.

What’s the story?

Boasting arguably the best attacking line in the Premier League, Liverpool still stand short of being considered genuine favourites for a league title that has eluded them for almost three decades due to their lacklustre defensive line.

Numerous players have come and gone in this role but Jurgen Klopp had a plan this summer to rejuvenate his defence, revolving around Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk, but a messy window saw the Reds miss out and issue an apology for an illegal approach.

Whilst Van Dijk isn’t off the cards completely, Liverpool are eyeing alternative additions to their defensive line and have set their sights on Lazio’s Stefan De Vrij, Calcio Mercato reports, with the Dutch centre-half set to be available on a free transfer next summer.

What about Van Dijk?

Significantly, it’s reported that De Vrij is a target along with his compatriot Virgil Van Dijk and that shows the Reds are desperate to significantly bolster their depth. Joel Matip is a solid defender and has improved the line but the likes of Dejan Lovren are lacklustre.

Landing Van Dijk and De Vrij would give Liverpool a solid quota of defenders, allowing them to alter their line-up to a three-man defence if they wish and boast greater depth if they remain with a back-four. Crucially, they’d also boast an experienced line.

De Vrij, still only 25, can be crafted into a top-class central defender and it would give Liverpool a strong line for the coming years as Matip and Van Dijk are both 26. With Nathaniel Clyne on the right also the same age and summer signing Andrew Robertson just 23, Klopp would have a back-line capable of shutting out the strongest of opponents.