MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 28, 2015: Southampton's Virgil Van Dijk in action against Manchester City during the Premier League match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Steven Gerrard says Liverpool should sign Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk

Steven Gerrard has said what we all think – and earmarked Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk as the ideal target for Liverpool.

Gerrard will take up his role back at LFC as youth coach next month, marking a comeback after 17 years in the Reds’ senior squad, having left to join LA Galaxy in 2015.

The 36-year-old will hope to be a low-key presence at the academy, but his input on first-team matters will remain a major talking point, given his legendary status on Merseyside.

Continuing to fulfil his media duties with BT Sport this season, Gerrard was asked who he would sign if he was Jurgen Klopp.

That player was the Saints’ new captain, Van Dijk, who is enjoying a phenomenal season at the heart of Claude Puel’s defence, establishing himself as one of Europe’s best defensive talents.

“Who I think we need, I would go and try and bid for Van Dijk from Southampton,” Gerrard revealed.

“But we’ve had enough of their players so that will probably go down like a lead balloon.”

Liverpool have already signed Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne and Sadio Mane from Southampton in recent years, but moving for Van Dijk would certainly be advised.

Tall, strong, quick, composed and decisive, the Dutchman has all the tools required to shine as a top-level centre-back, and would provide Joel Matip with the ideal partner at Liverpool.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 19, 2016: Liverpool's Sadio Mane in action against Southampton's Virgil Van Dijk during the FA Premier League match at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

However, as Gerrard admits, it will be difficult to prise him from St. Mary’s, particularly given the recent departure of Jose Fonte.

This is unlikely to deter the press, with Klopp no doubt peppered with questions whenever Gerrard speculates on transfers in the future.

Klopp has already said it is unlikely he will dip into the January market, given the paucity of quality available and his reluctance to settle for second best, and for now, his focus will be on the pitch.

Liverpool’s next game comes at home to Southampton in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final, and Klopp will be boosted by doubts over Van Dijk’s availability.

The 25-year-old picked up an ankle injury in Sunday’s 3-0 victory at home to Leicester City, and Puel is forced to wait on his recovery before the Saints’ trip to Anfield on Wednesday night.

Without Van Dijk, Klopp could see Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens line up as Southampton‘s centre-back pairing, which will be a potential weakness to exploit.

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