Liverpool can cure the "glaring weakness" in their defence by signing Southampton's Virgil van Dijk for £60m, according to former midfielder Jamie Redknapp. The Reds suffered more problems at the back in the 3-3 draw with Watford during which they surrendered a late lead thanks to conceding two goals from set pieces.
Stefano Okaka headed home the opener from the first corner of the game for Marco Silva's side, before Sadio Mane's equaliser. A defensive mix-up saw Abdoulaye Doucoure sweep the hosts back in front before the Reds looked on course for victory thanks to Roberto Firmino's penalty and Mohamed Salah's debut goal.
But another calamitous error in the third minute of stoppage time helped Watford escape with a point as Miguel Britos nodded home - albeit from a possibly offside position - as Simon Mignolet fumbled Richarlison's shot across goal. No side in the top flight has now shipped more goals from dead-ball situations than Liverpool since Klopp's appointment in October 2015.
Van Dijk continues to be linked with a move to Liverpool but despite having handed in a transfer request and not been involved in the opening day draw with Swansea City the Netherlands defender appears no closer to leaving St Mary's. But according to Redknapp Klopp must move quickly to acquire the 26-year-old to arrest their defensive problems.
"Liverpool's abject defending from set-pieces at Watford shows why they must splash out £60m on Virgil van Dijk," he told The Daily Mail. "There are no leaders in that Liverpool defence. At corners, no one wants to take responsibility and clear the ball.
"When you mark zonally, as Liverpool do, you need players to attack the ball. At Vicarage Road they were twice punished for standing like statues at corners. It is no surprise that under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have conceded the most from set-plays of the big six sides.
"You look at Tottenham, who have conceded the fewest, and they have Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama — leaders across the team. Klopp knows there is a glaring weakness in his team. He needs to address it by bringing in Van Dijk."
Liverpool have already been forced to retreat once from attempts to sign Van Dijk - apologising for making an alleged illegal approach earlier in the summer - but it remains to be seen whether renewed efforts to sign the ex-Celtic man will be successful. Chelsea and Manchester City have both been linked with Van Dijk in recent weeks but the saga of the summer appears no closer to reaching a conclusion.