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KLOPP TARGET Liverpool legend urges the club to splash the cash on one key position in the January transfer window

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Getty Images

Liverpool legend Steve McManaman has urged the club to splash the cash in the January transfer window in a bid to solve their defensive crisis.

Speaking a BT Sport press briefing, the former Liverpool winger suggested manager Jurgen Klopp should be backed to bolster the centre of his defence in January after injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez tore a hole out of his title-winning side.

While McManaman admits mid-season signings this season may mean the club need to off-load players to ensure their squad is not overloaded, the two-time Champions League winner believes defensive reinforcements have been essential to Liverpool's hopes this season.

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Steve McManaman (right) admits Virgil van Dijk's season ending injury is a huge blow for Liverpool

Steve McManaman (right) admits Virgil van Dijk's season ending injury is a huge blow for Liverpool

Steve McManaman (right) admits Virgil van Dijk's season ending injury is a huge blow for Liverpool

"They need to do something about the central defensive area in January, that's clear," stated McManaman. "They let (Dejan) Lovren go last summer and never replaced him. What you don't expect is to get two or three injuries in that position.

"I don't know what the finances are at Liverpool, but if you are asking me whether I would bring somebody in in January if I had the money to buy a good centre-half, the answer is yes.

"If Joe Gomez is out for a significant amount of time and Virgil van Dijk is as well, you have to look at it.

"You can play Fabinho there and you can play Joel Matip next to him, but Fabinho has been excellent in the centre of midfield and you are taking something away from that position if you play him in defence.

"If they have the finances to do it, I would certainly go out and sign a good central defender. That would be a no brainer for me.

"Then if you have too many defenders at the end of the season when everyone comes back, you go and sort it out then. Deal with the numbers later down the line if you are successful.

"With the injury history of poor Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, you are going down to use the academy players and they have been doing well. But it is hard when you get to the latter end of the Champions League and the Premier League as well, it is tough."

McManaman's comments echo the views of Sunday World columnist John Aldridge, who believes defensive re-enforcements need to be ready to play in the first week of the 2021.

"The injury suffered by Joe Gomez while he was training with England has plunged Liverpool into turmoil and now the only solution is signing re-enforcements in the January transfer window," states Aldridge.

"After an unbeaten run since Van Dijk’s season-ending injury at Everton last month, Klopp’s defensive issues have now reached breaking point after Gomez was ruled out for several months.

"When you throw in the harsh reality that Joel Matip also has fitness worries, there is only one solution left and that is signing at least one centre-back in January.

"Fabinho can slot in at centre-back and do a good job, Jordan Henderson could play in there at a push and young lads like Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams are showing real potential, but Liverpool need to make their move to bring in a central defender now.

"That player needs to be ready to come to the club when the transfer window opens on January 1st, he needs to have a good fitness record and also have some experience.

"Signing a defender that ticks all those boxes in the upcoming transfer window will not be easy, especially when every club in Europe knows Liverpool are desperate after all that has gone on in the last few months."

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