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Exclusive Ex-Liverpool striker urges the club to sign a defender as Sven Botman links are explored

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: PA

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: PA

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: PA

Liverpool need to sign a defender in this month's transfer window to keep their Premier League title charge on track, according to the club's former striker Emile Heskey.

With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez set to miss the rest of this season due to injury and Joel Matip struggling to maintain his fitness levels, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been urged to make a move in this month's transfer window.

Klopp used midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho as central defenders in last Monday's 1-0 defeat against Southampton, while youngsters Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips have also been handed first team chances.

Now Heskey has told sundayworld.com that Klopp needs to be backed in this transfer window, as he needs re-enforcements to keep Liverpool's title defence on track.

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Emile Heskey made the move from Leicester to Liverpool (Phil Noble/PA)

Emile Heskey made the move from Leicester to Liverpool (Phil Noble/PA)

Emile Heskey made the move from Leicester to Liverpool (Phil Noble/PA)

"It would be great if they could get a defender in, whether it be on loan or buying," Heskey told us at a BT Sport event. "Matip has been great, but it doesn't look like they can keep him fit long-term and that is one of the major issues with him.

"They have been without three or four of their main centre-backs this season and no team can cope with that, so they need to get a defender in if they can.

"They have put some young lads in like Phillips and Williams and they have done well. The trouble with young and inexperienced players is they will do well for one or two games and then they will have a bit of a dip.

"That's how it is with young lads. You have to give them a chance to thrive in that environment, but you also have to accept they will make mistakes.

"So you have to say they need to sign a defender this month. Whether they can get one in I don't know, but they need to look at it."

Klopp suggested on Wednesday that he might not be able to sign a defender due to the club's fragile finances amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as he hinted his desire to bolster his squad may be stunted.

"If the world was in a completely normal place and we have this situation, you could be sure we would try everything to do the right thing now," he said. "But the world is not in a normal place so I don't know why we constantly treat a football club like it's independent from all the other struggles around.

"It is not a time for massive investment if you don't have the funds for it. Obviously football clubs live off what they earn. We still don't have supporters in the stadium, a lot of stuff is still different, and that has gone on for a long time.

"So I don't understand why people now talk about the situation like nothing happened. We are still in the middle of a pandemic so that's not the best time we've ever had.

“I cannot go to the owners and say: 'Without that we cannot win anything.' We have to make the best of it, and that is what we have always done. It's not that nobody wants (a defender). The question is if we can."

Meanwhile, reports suggesting Liverpool have made a move to sign Lille defender Sven Botman have been dismissed by sources close to the French club.

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Liverpool have yet to make a bid for Lille defender Sven Botman (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

Liverpool have yet to make a bid for Lille defender Sven Botman (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

Liverpool have yet to make a bid for Lille defender Sven Botman (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

While Liverpool are believed to have included Botman on a list of possible transfer targets this month, they have yet to make a move for the Dutch defender and he is not expecting to leave Lille in this transfer window.

Liverpool could change that stance if they make a sizeable offer, yet it seems financial constraints will be a major concern for Klopp as he looks to keep his side's season on track.

BT Sport will show multiple games during the third round of the Emirates FA Cup, starting with Aston Villa v Liverpool live on BT Sport 1 from 7pm on Friday 8th January. All game are available in Ireland to Sky Extra customers.

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