Neville questions Klopp about Liverpool FC transfers: You can’t spend £5m on a defender

The former Man United defender isn't impressed with Jurgen Klopp's defensive acquisitions during his spell at Anfield

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp Photo: New Balance

Jurgen Klopp has been criticised for spending £5m on defenders to improve Liverpool’s back four by Phil Neville.

The Reds have made a disappointing start to the Premier League season following a return of eight points from their opening five top-flight fixtures.

Liverpool have already conceded a staggering 17 goals in 10 games in all competitions so far this season to raise questions about their defence under Klopp.

The Reds boss attempted to sign Netherlands international Virgil van Dijk from Southampton but Klopp couldn’t get a deal over the line despite the centre-half’s interest in a move.

The Merseyside outfit finished in fourth place in the Premier League table last season to secure a return to the Champions League despite their suspect defending.

Klopp signed Joel Matip in a free transfer from Schalke 04 in the 2016 summer transfer window before Estonia international Ragnar Klavan in a £5m deal from Mainz 05.

While the African defender has generally been viewed as a positive addition, Klavan has struggled to make the step up to the Premier League over the past 12 months.

Former Manchester United defender Neville criticised Klopp’s decision to sign Klavan and Matip.

“There’s a massive problem,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“We’ve known probably for the last 12 to 18 months that goalkeeper, central defence, they’ve got massive problems.

“I think it’s personnel problems. When I see Liverpool play, they’re fantastic going forwards, as good as anybody. But I don’t think they’re exposed at the back. I don’t think the centre-backs play so wide open, the midfield vacate the space. I think they’re quite well organised. I think they’re individual errors. They lost 5-0 at [Manchester] City a couple of weeks ago through individual errors.

“I think at centre-back [Joel] Matip and Klavan… if you’re spending £5m on a centre-back, you get £5m worth of quality.

“You can’t teach concentration. You can’t stop players making individual errors. You’ve just got to change personnel and buy better players. That’s what I see when I see this Liverpool defence. You’ve got to bring in better players, with better qualities that can play in that back four.”

Liverpool signed four players in the summer transfer window but Klopp couldn’t get a deal for Van Dijk over the line.

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