Liverpool‘s woeful set-piece defending against Watford today has sparked fresh calls for the Reds to seal the transfer of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.
The Netherlands international has been strongly linked with Jurgen Klopp’s side for much of the summer, before the Saints threatened to report Liverpool to the Premier League over the nature of their approach for him.
Van Dijk has largely impressed during his time at Southampton, also leading to the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City targeting him this summer in a potential £60million move.
However, Southampton’s stats in terms of defending set-pieces suggest he’s not a great deal better than what they’ve currently got.
Since Klopp took over as Liverpool manager early on in the 2015/16 season, his side are joint-top alongside the Saints with 27 goals conceded from set-plays.
Given that Van Dijk has been at the St Mary’s Stadium for the whole of that period, it suggests £60m would be a rather big waste of money by Liverpool in their search to tighten up at the back.
The Merseyside giants led 3-2 at Watford this afternoon before conceding a stoppage time equaliser from a corner, having also conceded the opener in the same fashion.
Liverpool have endured a frustrating summer in their failed pursuit of Van Dijk, whilst also missing out on top midfield target Naby Keita.
Latest speculation also suggests they’re set to lose star player Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona without a great deal of time left in this transfer window to find a replacement.