Jurgen Klopp told top 26-year-old would improve Liverpool star

Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes Virgil van Dijk would bring out the best in Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk Photo: Virgil van Dijk / Instagram

Ian Wright has defended Dejan Lovren but admitted Virgil van Dijk would improve the Liverpool defender.

The Reds were linked with a move to sign the Southampton captain throughout the summer transfer window but a deal failed to materialise despite the Netherlands international’s eagerness to move to Anfield.

Indeed, Liverpool were forced to issue a statement apologising to the Saints over the pursuit of the 26-year-old defender after Southampton threatened to reports their Premier League rivals for tapping up.

The Merseyside outfit failed to sign any new centre-halves in the summer transfer window to leave Jurgen Klopp with his current first-choice pairing of Lovren and Joel Matip.

The Croatia international has attracted criticism in recent seasons for his nervous performances in the Liverpool back four despite being described as one of the Premier League’s best centre-halves during his spell at Southampton.

Former Arsenal striker Wright is still a fan of Lovren despite lingering questions surrounding his ability to perform in the Liverpool side.

“If you put Van Dijk in there with Lovren, he will look like a different player,” Wright told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I would still not be too displeased having Lovren in my side at the minute.”

Lovren moved to Liverpool in a £20m deal from Southampton in the 2014 summer transfer window.

The Reds signed AS Roma winger Mohamed Salah, Chelsea teenager Dominic Solanke, Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Hull City defender Andy Robertson this summer.

Liverpool agreed a club-record £48m deal to sign Naby Keita from RB Leipzig next summer.

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