See Jurgen Klopp’s plan to keep pace with Manchester City

Virgil van Dijk has led a strong defence this season and his manager claims his back line all want to stay at the club for the long-term

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praised his defence and said his back four planned to stay at the Premier League club for a long time.

The age profile of his back four pleases Klopp, who hopes his defenders remain at Anfield.

“They have a long career ahead, which is cool,” he said ahead of Friday’s trip to Southampton.

“And how it looks at the moment is that they want to spend the majority of their careers here, which is cool as well.”

While Van Dijk cost Liverpool a reported £75million, Robertson arrived for £8m, Matip on a free and Alexander-Arnold through the youth system.

Klopp, whose team are a point behind league leaders Manchester City, said the cost was irrelevant.

“It is probably not the most expensive defence in the world but it is a proper one, a really proper one,” he said.

“Wherever good players are coming from, wherever they are raised, wherever the dream started, they are welcome here at Liverpool.”

Liverpool have conceded just 19 goals through 32 matches in the Premier League, the best record in the league and two goals better than Manchester City.

Friday’s contest comes ahead of a tough stretch for Klopp’s club that should test his back line to the fullest.

The first leg of a Champions League clash against Porto follows on Tuesday, with a showdown against Chelsea coming before the second leg of that quarter-final tie.

The Reds have just six matches left in their Premier League season as they look to chase down an elusive Premier League title

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