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'Special back four' will have Liverpool title challenging for the next five years - Murphy

7:21 PM IST 05/11/18
Virgil van Dijk Liverpool 2018-19
The former Reds midfielder has been impressed with the progress made by Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool now boast the “special back four” required to have them challenging for major honours over the next five years, says Danny Murphy.

The Reds have seen defensive issues hold them back over recent years, with there a feeling that too many leaks had been sprung to compete for the biggest prizes at home and abroad.

Jurgen Klopp has set about plugging those holes, with big money invested in the likes of commanding centre-half Virgil van Dijk and Brazil international goalkeeper Alisson.

Murphy believes those deals are now being rewarded, with Liverpool boasting a last line of defence that they can rely on and a settled unit of proven performers who have helped to build an unbeaten start to the club’s 2018-19 Premier League campaign.

“They look very comfortable defending now. That back five is now looking like a really balanced unit,” former Reds star Murphy told talkSPORT after seeing Klopp’s side play out a 1-1 draw at Arsenal.

“With their age and with a really good keeper, for the next five years this could be the reason why Liverpool compete on all fronts competitively.

“The back four have coped with an Arsenal side full of confidence, pace, energy, momentum, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, [Alexandre] Lacazette.

“This looks a special back four.

“Trent Alexander-Arnold, he’s young, he’s learning. Against the best players he sometimes has a problem. But his passing, his crossing and his calmness going forwards is brilliant.

“Gomez for me, I saw at full-back and I wasn’t convinced but he’s physically perfect.

“Van Dijk has got to be one of the best in the world, he’s absolutely awesome in every part of his game.

“And Robertson, he can play going forward, energy, tenacity but he can defend as well and he wants to defend.”

A more assured back line has helped Liverpool to seven clean sheets across all competitions this season, with Cardiff the only side to have breached them at Anfield in a Premier League fixture – and that effort came in a convincing 4-1 victory for Klopp’s side.