Liverpool FC told signing top 26-year-old won’t solve defensive problem

The Arsenal legend appears to play down the significance of Liverpool missing out on Virgil van Dijk last summer

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

Virgil van Dijk wouldn’t have solved Liverpool’s long-running defensive issues, Ian Wright has claimed.

Liverpool were linked with a move to sign the Netherlands international in a £60m deal from Southampton in the summer but a deal failed to materialise.

Indeed, the Reds were forced to issue a statement apologising to the Saints over an alleged illegal approach for the 26-year-old defender.

Van Dijk even handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force through a move to Liverpool but Southampton managed to hold onto their skipper.

Liverpool have already conceded 12 times in seven games in the Premier League this term as Jurgen Klopp is stuck with Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan at centre-half.

Former Arsenal striker Wright believes Klopp needs to more than just sign Van Dijk to solve the Merseyside club’s long-running headache at the back.

“Even if you do get Virgil van Dijk, if you’re not doing defensive work, he’ll be isolated in certain situations,” Wright told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“He might be able to deal with balls into the box because of his physical ability.

“If he’s not got people organised around him, he’ll still be exposed.”

Liverpool finished in fourth place in the Premier League last season to secure a return to the Champions League.

The Reds haven’t won the Premier League title but finished in second place in 2002, 2009 and 2014.

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