£75m Van Dijk joins Keita in Klopp's masterplan to strengthen Liverpool's spine

Premier League
The Netherlands international, signed on a five-and-a-half year deal, is part of greater transfer strategy for the Merseysiders
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Towards the end of 2016-17, as Liverpool pushed for a top-four finish to crystallise their advancement under Jurgen Klopp, the sketch of their recruitment strategy for the new campaign was becoming apparent.

Their blinding, blitzing start to the season had underlined the electrifying potential of the team, but their stretched-out stumble at the turn of this year solidified the thinking that pedigreed reinforcements were required.

There has been no shortage of defensive assessment too, where Jose Gimenez, Aymeric Laporte and Manuel Akanji are just three attractive candidates.

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There is also a decision to be made in the goalkeeping department; the area in which Liverpool are still not punching in the same bracket as the Manchester clubs and Chelsea.

Getting Keita and Van Dijk over the line through arduous circumstances deserves applause and appreciation. However, as Klopp always points out, celebrating what you’ve done is nowhere near as important as making sure you’re prepared for the next success.

And so, by the start of 2018-19, Liverpool’s nucleus should be as steely as the manager’s resolve to continue reviving them domestically and on the continent.