By Wayne Veysey

10th Sep, 2017 | 4:54pm

BBC: Klopp exposed after Liverpool tried to sign this player in the summer

By Harry Sykes

Liverpool were torn apart by Manchester City – and their failure to sign Virgil can Dijk was one of the key reasons why, according to a report.

The BBC Sport website identified the Merseyside giants’ failed bid to land the Holland centre-back as a principal factor in their limp showing at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Liverpool were reduced to 10 men when Sadio Mane was sent off in the first half but, their lack of numbers notwithstanding, they could not cope with the potency of the City front line.

Doubles from Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane followed Sergio Aguero’s clinical opener as Pep Guardiola’s team delivered a masterclass of attacking play.

“Liverpool manager Klopp is also assembling an exciting attacking side with Mohamed Salah’s pace a real threat alongside Mane and the elegant Roberto Firmino,” report the BBC.

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“The problems come at the back and were brutally exposed in the second half in a dreadful display, even given for the fact they were down to 10 men.

“Liverpool could not add Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk in the transfer window and it has left them short, with Ragnar Klavan’s replacement of Dejan Lovren a sign of Klopp’s uncertainty about that position.

“It is a vulnerability that, for all their exciting attacking options, could seriously undermine Liverpool.”

The result against City was Klopp’s heaviest defeat in all competitions as Liverpool manager and his joint-heaviest ever managerial loss.

It means that the Merseysiders have dropped to seventh in the league table, three points adrift of Guardiola’s second-placed side.

City are away to Feyenoord in their Champions League opener on Wednesday, while Liverpool host Sevilla at the same time.

City then travel to Watford in the Premier League and Liverpool host Burnley, both games on Saturday, 16 September.

In other Liverpool transfer news, a BBC pundit has predicted one of two players will be axed to make way for new signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

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