One of the longest transfer sagas in recent years seems to have finally come to an end, as Liverpool announced a deal to sign Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk via twitter. This marks the first landmark signing of this seasons’ winter transfer window.
Liverpool come out victorious in Virgil van Dijk race
It was not long after he arrived in the Premier League that Virgil van Dijk impressed. Thus, rumours of van Dijk looking for a change from the south coast are nothing new. Although Sportsbet had Manchester City as the favourite to capture Southampton defender this winter, it was Klopp’s Liverpool who managed to secure him. The Dutchman even went as far as to hand in a transfer request this past summer. He was unsuccessful then but has at last secured his long-awaited move.
The Reds have been chasing van Dijk for a while and are rumoured to have splashed 75 million pounds for his capture. So, can Liverpool fans consider this signing a good piece of business? At 26 years old van Dijk has plenty of time to further improve as a defender. It also helps that he already has Premier League experience. If there is one weakness holding Liverpool back from a title challenge, it is their leaky defence. The Reds, currently fourth, have conceded an unimpressive 23 goals so far this season. Further, manager Jurgen Klopp has not yet resolved his team’s deficiencies regarding set pieces or the goalkeeping department. With aerial prowess, physicality, and a good reading of the game, van Dijk is an ideal defensive addition to Liverpool’s leaky backline. While a 75 million pound price tag makes him the most expensive defender in history, he definitely addresses Liverpool’s defensive frailties.
Southampton in Shambles
Languishing in fourteenth, the loss of Virgil van Dijk is a huge blow to Mauricio Pellegrino’s side. The Saints already had a problem scoring this season, finding the net only twenty times. Meanwhile at the back, Southampton have conceded thirty goals already this season and have kept only four clean sheets this season. Van Dijk was a leader and defensive rock at the back for the Saints. His departure forces the club to rely on Wesley Hoedt and Maya Yoshida to hold down the defense. With problems at both ends of the pitch Pellegrino has much work to do, but the club may allow him to reinvest some of Van Dijk’s transfer fee.
Liverpool’s affinity for Southampton players continues as they agree a deal to sign Virgil van Dijk on January 1. It is important to move quickly to secure winter targets and Liverpool have done just that. Jurgen Klopp has brought in van Dijk to plug holes at the back and make Liverpool a more daunting opponent. 75 million pounds is a hefty fee, but van Dijk has a long, bright future as a formidable Premier League defender. Manchester City lead the pack, but the Reds are already gearing up for next season.
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