Virgil van Dijk addresses concerns over need for more Liverpool signings

Virgil van Dijk has admitted he 'definitely understands' concerns about Liverpool's recruitment so far this summer.

The Reds have signed Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai so far in this transfer window, but work is still to be done to complete the much-discussed rebuild.

With Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all leaving, Jurgen Klopp's first team is lighter on bodies in the middle of the park, while there isn't a single fit, recognised defensive midfielder in the squad for Sunday's Premier League opener with Chelsea.

Liverpool have seen three bids rejected for priority target Romeo Lavia, so far, while a move for Andre Trindade of Fluminense looks unlikely to happen this summer.

Meanwhile it has been reported that the Reds are looking at options for a new left-sided centre back but could postpone the signing until next year.

With the domestic season set to kick off and just three weeks remaining of the transfer window, many fans are worried about Liverpool's lack of depth defensively. It's a concern newly appointed captain Van Dijk can understand, though he himself is looking at the positives.

"Yeah, I can definitely understand it in some ways," the 32-year-old said, when asked about supporters' anxieties over a lack of movement in the market. "But I’m not a very negative person, so obviously it’s not in my mind to think like that.

"But obviously when a lot of players are leaving, when your captain is leaving, your vice-captain is leaving, and at the moment there are only two incomings, and the way we have been playing - in possession really good, but defensively when you concede goals it’s not as good - I can understand some people having doubts.

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"But the most important thing as we’ve seen over the years is the consistency, as a group, everyone in the squad. Let’s see if more players are coming in, and then we have to be ready again for a long season. It will be very tough if we look at the teams around us, but we want to be up there again, we want to be challenging again, and the only way to do it is with the consistency that we’ve shown over the previous years, apart from last year which was very disappointing.

"We have to be confident, we should be confident and we should still be learning each and every day. We should be excited. I’m very excited, so let’s give it a go."

Liverpool's defending has raised eyebrows in pre-season. While Klopp's side have scored 18 times across five games, they have also conceded 11 – including four against both Greuther Furth and Bayern Munich – with the new hybrid system seemingly leaving the Reds more exposed at times.

Van Dijk revealed the team have been having meetings to address the issues as they continue to work on the altered set-up.

"We defend all together," Van Dijk said. "It is not just the midfield or the strikers or just the defenders, it is about the way we try and put the opponent under pressure. If they are under pressure they cannot play the ball in behind so easily and you are prepared for it.

"If you watch it very black-and-white then obviously when you concede goals it is the defenders or the goalkeeper’s fault. But the way in which we conceded the last couple of goals, the balls in behind were not defended well and we discussed that.

"Especially on Sunday and the day before, we had a long video meeting and looked at the last line. It was very helpful, the way you are positioning and you have to be ready for the balls in behind and when teams smell the danger is there they will go for it. It was a good meeting the other day, very clear and very direct and that is what we need in order to be successful."

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