It comes as no secret that being a defender at Liverpool is a tough job and one that requires someone of incredible mental strength and resilience.
The Reds are likely to welcome a new central defender to the club in the summer transfer window and Jurgen Klopp has described what will be required of any man set to feature at the heart of the club’s back four.
“A centre-half for a top team is playing with a lot of space at the back. That’s how Tottenham act, how City act and sometimes how Arsenal act. Manchester United are for sure a bit different,” he told the Liverpool Echo.
“That is the situation, you have to involve a lot of players usually in offensive things, you cannot be offensive with two players in a counter-attack when there are already eight from the other team in their own half or box. So, yes, of course it is more difficult.”
“If we go for a centre-half we need to know how he acts in big spaces, but on the other side centre-halves can feel pretty alone in certain moments if we don’t react the right way after losing the ball.”
“That is why counter-pressing is a pretty useful skill.”
Klopp’s impetus towards mounting regular attacking moves in numbers leaves Liverpool’s defenders exposed –at times and often prone to counter-attacks.
Apparent defensive frailties throughout the season have seen a new centre-back identified as a priority in the summer market and a position Klopp could break the club’s transfer record for.
Southampton’s £50million rated Virgil van Dijk has emerged as a main target with his towering presence, power, pace and athleticism seemingly presenting him as a perfect candidate to slot straight into a set-up that will leave him with plenty of open space to defend.
Bolster this team’s defence accordingly and Klopp could well be onto something special.