Football

Van Dijk: Pool the perfect club for me

The world's most expensive defender, Virgil van Dijk, said Liverpool was the "perfect match" for him after officially completing his £75 million (S$135.2 million) transfer from Southampton yesterday.

The Dutch international agreed the move last week but the deal was only sealed yesterday after the January transfer window opened.

The 26-year-old told Liverpool's club website: "With the history at the club and everything around it - even the training ground and stuff - it is just a perfect, perfect match for me, and for my family as well."

Van Dijk's move to Merseyside has been a long, drawn out affair with Southampton reporting the Reds to the English Premier League for tapping up the player last June.

Liverpool subsequently apologised and said they would end their interest in the player.

Fast forward six months and Reds manager Juergen Klopp revived his interest in van Dijk with a bid that eclipses the £54 million that Manchester City paid to sign England right back Kyle Walker from Tottenham Hotspur last July.

Not that the Dutchman was too bothered by his own record-breaking fee.

Van Dijk said: "Obviously, there is a lot of money being paid, but I can't do anything about that money, I can't do anything about the price - nobody can.

"It's only the market. The only thing I can do is just work hard, do good things and be 100 per cent every day.

"That's what I definitely want to do - and I am going to do.

"I am happy to be here and I can't wait to get started.

"I think the most important thing is the size of the club, the culture of the club, the players, the manager and obviously the fans, who make the club this special.

"I think this is the right time for me to be here and to develop all sorts of aspects of my game.

"I am looking forward to doing that, that's the main thing."

Reds midfielder Georginio 
Wijnaldum believes his compatriot can help them win silverware.

He told Liverpool's club website: "Everyone is excited, not only the players but also the fans and the people at the club.

"We're always excited if players choose Liverpool (when) they could also choose other teams...

"He can help us to win something because he is a good player, he already showed that at Southampton."

Van Dijk, however, didn't get to show Liverpool fans what he can offer last night, with his registration not concluded in time to feature against Burnley.

Another player who didn't feature was Mohamed Salah.

The EPL's second-most prolific player will be out for at least two weeks after sustaining a knee injury in the 2-1 win over Leicester City last week.

Football