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Virgil van Dijk ‘confident’ Liverpool can challenge for title despite concerns over transfer activity

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Virgil van Dijk is hopeful Liverpool can challenge for the Premier League title but voiced concerns over the club’s transfer activity.Liverpool started the transfer window quite well, seeing fringe players such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita move on with Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboslzai coming in to take their place. James Milner’s departure was ceremonious, as was Roberto Firmino’s, but it was the deals that saw Fabinho and Jordan Henderson move to Saudi Arabia that got Reds fans questioning the club’s business as they continue to stall over a potential deal for Southampton’s Romeo Lavia.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Van Dijk said: “I can definitely understand it [fans concerns] in some ways. But I’m not a very negative person, so obviously it’s not in my mind to think like that. But obviously when a lot of players are leaving, when your captain is leaving, your vice-captain is leaving, and at the moment there are only two incomings. And the way we have been playing, in possession really good, but defensively when you concede goals it’s not as good, so I can understand some people having doubts.

“But the most important thing as we’ve seen over the years is the consistency, as a group, everyone in the squad, let’s see if more players are coming in, and then we have to be ready again for a long season. We have to be confident, we should be confident and we should still be learning each and every day. There have been characters leaving, players who have played a big part in the success, but others have to step up. That’s a nice challenge in my opinion. We should be excited. I’m very excited, so let’s give it a go.”Liverpool have to improve this season after a disastrous campaign last time out. In terms of going forward, they’ve got little to worry about. Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota all look to be fit and firing having netted eight goals between them in their five friendlies. However, there’s a concern that their defence might not be up to scratch, a problem exacerbated by the lack of a recognised defensive midfielder.Having now played all of their pre-season friendlies, Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp will now ramp up preparations for their Premier League opener away at Chelsea on August 13.