The Reds boss was speaking after the 2-2 draw with Sevilla on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League. After coming from a goal behind to lead 2-1, Roberto Firmino missed an opportunity to extend the team’s advantage from the penalty spot before the La Liga side capitalised on slack play from the hosts late on to equalise.
Klopp didn’t make any summer additions at centre-back and defended the team’s work in the transfer market after the contest.
“I know you are always looking for this thing—the defence was always something being talked about: ‘We didn’t sign this or that’,” he said, per Rory O’Callaghan of Sky Sports. “If these problems could be solved by one player, you can imagine we would have put all our money into it and say: ‘Let’s do this.'”
As noted by O’Callaghan, Liverpool were linked with a move for Southampton‘s Virgil van Dijk. Despite a transfer request from the Netherlands international, he ended up staying at St Mary’s beyond the summer deadline.
Paddy Power summed up the Reds’ approach to improving their options at the back in the window:
Prior to their 5-0 hammering at the hands of Manchester City at the weekend they had been in good form, keeping clean sheets in six of the last seven Premier League matches.
Yet there are times when the team can meander through spells of games. It happened against Sevilla early on, as the Andalusians struck to take the lead, and then late in the contest, with the Reds seemingly in complete control.
To level the blame entirely at the centre-backs would be unfair, as often the protection received from midfield leaves plenty to be desired. Philip Blundell commented on the passiveness of Emre Can during the 2-2 draw:
Klopp insisted that if Liverpool are going to improve their defensive record it needs to be a collective effort.
“There is space for improvement,” he admitted. “We need to learn to be dominant and not give easy goals. It is not a general defending problem, but we have to improve 100 per cent.”
Still, as noted by Paul Hayward of the Daily Telegraph, the manner in which Liverpool play the game under the German isn’t conducive to tight defending:
Striking the right type of balance is something Liverpool will have to learn if they’re to challenge for the top honours, though. While a draw against Sevilla in what should be a straightforward group is not a bad result, they’ll have eyes on going further in the competition.
If they are going to be in contention for the Premier League and the Champions League, improved defensive play is an absolute must for the Reds. In what is his third season at Anfield, plenty will feel Klopp should have done more to bolster the team by now.