Liverpool have ended one of the longest-running transfer sagas of the modern era by securing the signature of Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for a reported £75m fee.
Following Liverpool's I'll-fated move for the defender in the summer transfer window, wherein the Reds had to publicly apologise to Southampton amid claims of "tapping up". Now it appears Jürgen Klopp has finally got his man.
Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph claims the exclusive. Van Dijk becomes the sixth player to swap St. Mary's for Anfield in the last four seasons with Rickie Lambert (2014); Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren in the same year; Nathaniel Clyne (2015) and Sadio Mané in 2016. The move has also been confirmed on the Liverpool FC official website and Twitter account.
Altogether the south coast club has taken around £170m from Liverpool in transfer fees in doing the above business.
The Dutchman has been allocated the No. 4 shirt and becomes the world record fee paid for a defender. That accolade most recently went to Kyle Walker for his £54m move from Tottenham Hotspurs to Manchester City this year.
Hopefully, this signing will go some way to addressing the lack of leadership that currently plagues the Liverpool defence. Klopp failed to replace Mamadou Sakho following their (very public) falling out. New signings Ragnar Klavan and Joel Matiphave yet to fully fill the void left by legend Jamie Carragher since his retirement.
Another Red recruit from Southampton, Lovren has come in for heavy criticism since his move from the Saints and to say he blows hot and cold would be an understatement. His apparent lack of concentration and often poor decision making has led to many a supporter calling for him to be sold... If only!
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