It’s already developed in to one of the transfer sagas of the summer, will Virgil Van Dijk be moving to Liverpool before the start of the new season? We asked BBC Radio Solent’s Sports Editor Adam Blackmore for his thoughts.
Following the news that Virgil Van Dijk has informed Jurgen Klopp he wants to move to Liverpool this summer, how and why do you feel he’s come to this decision?
It must be for personal reasons and any relationship they have (legally or illegally) established! I was informed last week that Man City were offering big money, but he is not a priority for them now.
Obviously a number of clubs in the league have been courting Van Dijk for a very ling time now…why do you think he’s rejected the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City in favour of a move to Anfield?
This is a similar question to your first one to be honest. We do not know what Liverpool’s assault on the transfer market will be yet, but if they are serious about competing with City and Unite financially, maybe that has convinced VVD.
No deal has been struck with Southampton yet despite the players intentions. The two clubs have a lot of history in transfer dealings, so with that in mind how easy/difficult do you think negotiations between the two clubs will be this time around?
These negotiations are going to tricky, and you are presuming they will even take place. Saints are in no mood to deal with Liverpool at all – it is obvious that someone has been speaking to VVD on behalf of the club, before Liverpool have approached Saints to talk to him. Southampton have asked the Premier League to investigate an illegal approach, so the relationship between the clubs could be at an all-time low.
There has been a lot of talk for a number of months now…when do you think Van Dijk would have made his mind up?
I think he and his agent will constantly be weighing up his options. For my money he is the most complete all-round CB in the Premier League, so could walk into any club in Europe I think.
Moving on to the player himself, in your opinion what is it about Van Dijk which has prompted so many clubs to pursue him?
He wins more aerial battles in the Premier League than any other defender, he is great on the ball, is left-footed and naturally comfortable on that side of the central defence, he has a presence, is cool and calm on and off the pitch, has good pace, immense strength, he covers well and reads the game well, and is a physical beast.
What are his weaknesses?
I am honestly struggling to think of many ! Off the pitch he is a quiet, respectful man and a good family man. I have talked about his qualities on the pitch, and his weaknesses are maybe a year of pace. But the way he defends he reminds me of Paul McGrath in his pomp (sorry Liverpool fans) – reads the game brilliantly and glides across the pitch making the game look easy at times.
How would you see him fitting into a Jurgen Klopp team?
We’ve all seen Liverpool’s issues in defence. I suspect he’d form a good partnership with Joel Matip and that Dejan Lovren would drop down to the bench. Funnily enough, Van Dijk was actually Lovren’s replacement at Southampton too!
If you were to put a percentage on it….what are the chances of Van Dijk leaving Southampton this summer and playing his football at Anfield next season?
It’s hard to say at the moment. I’ll sit on the fence and say 50:50. It’s going to be a long summer.
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