Liverpool and Southampton have done some business in the last four years that makes it look as though Saints are a breeding ground for the 18-time league winners. The likes of Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Sadio Mane have all swamped the hustle and bustle of the South Coast for Anfield, though to varying degrees of success.
The latest star at St. Mary’s is Virgil van Dijk, an excellent addition that will improve any top 4 team. The Dutch international was one of the best centre backs in the country before injury cut short his season in January, however his stock has continued to rise.
Signed from Celtic in the summer of 2015, the former Gronigen defender is a calm presence at the back and led the Saints with example following the departure of long serving captain, Jose Fonte in the winter transfer window.
Van Dijk will offer Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool what none of their central defenders currently possess: astute football intelligence coupled with exceptional defending and ability to lead. The likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United are all interested in him, and Liverpool will have to move fast to secure his signature.
With Champions League football on the horizon for next season, attracting top players won’t be an issue as there are likely to be more reinforcements, a fact that will not be lost on Van Dijk who is an ambitious topflight defender.
Liverpool have shipped in too many goals at the back and if not properly addressed, could derail their potential title bid. Van Dijk will offer solidity and leadership and with Liverpool also boasting the likes of Matip, Van Dijk and Lovren, they will boast three players that will be in competition for two places, which can only help the squad.
Van Dijk could be the missing piece of Jurgen Klopp’s jigsaw, who is quietly building something at Anfield.