Opinion

The Impact of Virgil Van Dijk

When we signed Virgil Van Dijk back in January, there were some who questioned the £75 million paid by Liverpool to Southampton for his services. The most ever paid for a centre back.

 

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Delighted and honoured to have agreed to become a Liverpool FC player! 🔴🔴🔴 Today is a proud day for me and my family as I join one of the biggest clubs in world football! I can’t wait to pull on the famous red shirt for the first time in front of the Kop and will give everything I have to try and help this great club achieve something special in the years to come ⚽️ I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Les Reed, the board, manager, players, fans and everyone at Southampton. I will always be indebted to the club for giving me the opportunity to play in the Premier League and despite a difficult last few months I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saints and have made friends for life at the club. Thank you for everything 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Thank you for all the messages of support 💪🏾 I’m now looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting started 🔴 #YNWA

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But it’s money well spent for what he brings to the squad. 

You can’t argue with the facts,  he’s improved the defence so much since  signing. Liverpool have only conceded 14 times in the League since his arrival, the joint most in all of the European Leagues , a feat shared with Atletico Madrid respectively, and we all know how strong their defence is.

It’s scary to think that this signing might not have happened if Jürgen had given up on the pursuit after all that went on in the previous transfer window.  But his persistence eventually paid off and he got his man,  Klopp, was delighted with the signing:

“Forget the price”

“He will bring quality. That’s why we got him, that’s why we were interested in him,”

“It’s quite difficult in the moment because he’s technically still a Southampton player. So I have much more time and probably more opportunities to talk about him!”

“I can imagine that people think ‘wow, what a number’, but for me it’s not really interesting. We don’t make the prices, the market makes the prices.”

“Liverpool supporters should forget the price. We only talk about the player and what he can bring in; the quality, the mentality, the character. That is why we are really happy about it.”

“It’s a long-term thing. Virgil probably hasn’t had his best half of a season at Southampton,”

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Virgil solidified our defence, his brilliance and calmness has rubbed off on all around him. He’s also very vocal on the pitch and is a natural leader with captaincy qualities.

 

 

 

LAST SEASON

He struck up a brilliant partnership with Dejan Lovren last season, the pair were ever present in the team which went all the way to the Champions League final. Only to be scuppered by Real Madrid after the infamous injury to Mo Salah, which didn’t help Liverpool’s cause on the night.

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THIS SEASON

The injury to Dejan Lovren in Russia gave Joe Gomez a chance to play at the heart of the defence with Big Virgil and he’s taken his chance with great applause. The defence has been so solid this season in the League, only conceding four times in ten matches. There seems to be a chemistry between the two players. That pairing would be most fans preference! Virgil was made captain in recent weeks by his fellow team-mate’s.  But only temporary as he’s third choice behind  Jordan Henderson and James Milner. That Captaincy isn’t too far away!

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Jürgen Klopp had special praise for Virgil after the Palace match earlier this season, it was our second game and a second successive clean sheet :

“Quality costs a specific price”

“Cars are like that, players are like that. That’s why we paid it. Nobody thinks about it any more and that’s good because he’s a player in this market at the moment who is at least worth it.”

“Maybe it was cheap but we don’t know the future. He loves playing with these boys and that’s the most important thing for me. I don’t know many defenders in the world who could deal with almost 100% of the situations clear without a foul. It was very important that Virgil was there with that kind of presence.”

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VIRGIL’S IMPACT

If you could compare Virgil Van Dijk to a car he’d be a Roll Royce.  I’d go as far to say he’s in the top 3 in the World at present,  but if he could win something this season then he’d be no1.  It’s clear for all to see how much of an impact he’s had on this squad as a whole and if he can stay fit for the remainder of this season then a Premier League title isn’t too far away.

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