Former Liverpool star Dominic Matteo has stressed the Reds have been lacking at the back four and believes the signing of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk in January will help Jurgen Klopp to solve the defensive crisis.

The Dutch international was keen on completing a switch to Anfield in the summer transfer window. Earlier in June, the deal was all but set to take shape, before the Saints reported the Merseyside club to the Premier League for an alleged illegal approach.

Liverpool were forced to issue a public apology for any "misunderstanding." Van Dijk remained interested in joining Klopp's side and even handed in a transfer request at St Mary's Stadium. However, Southampton were adamant in sanctioning his sale in the summer.

Van Dijk continued with the south coast club, while the former Borussia Dortmund manager sanctioned Mamadou Sakho to join Crystal Palace on a permanent transfer. This left Klopp with Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan as the recognised centre-backs in the squad.

Despite advising his former club to sign 26-year-old Van Dijk, Matteo has warned that signing one player will not improve their defence drastically. He has urged Liverpool to work as a unit to solver their defensive woes.

"Another centre-half who is a leader and organiser will definitely help. I think it is a bit bigger than that as well, I don't think just one player can come in and your defensive problems are solved, it's a team effort to get things right," Matteo told

"It's something that you have to work on as a unit, it can't be just one player coming in and everything is alright but I think signing someone like a Van Dijk in January will help and it will help with the fans as well as I think the fans are crying out for a leader to be brought in at centre-half and if the manager was to bring someone like that in it will certainly be good for the fans and the club going forward."

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk was keen on completing a move from Southampton to Liverpool in the Getty

Read the interview with Gary Pallister & Dominic Matteo, including why pressure is building on Klopp at Anfield