Gary Neville Admits He Was Left 'Shocked' by Liverpool's Capture of Virgil van Dijk & Alisson

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has explained why the signings of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson were the final 'pieces of the jigsaw' for Liverpool.

Van Dijk joined the Reds for a then-record £75m in January 2018, while Alisson arrived in the summer of the same year for around £67m. Both players have been immense since arriving, with the pair equally important members of the team that stormed to Champions League glory last season. 

Virgil Van Dijk

They have continued to shine this season, helping Liverpool cruise towards the Premier League title before all football in England was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Sky Sports pundit Neville has now explained why the signings of Van Dijk and Alisson took him by surprise, explaining that, in the past, the Anfield side were always 'toying at it' in the transfer market as they never really went for the best players. 

Speaking on a retro edition of Monday Night Football (as quoted by ​the Daily Express), Neville said: "It did always feel like [​Liverpool] were toying at it in the transfer market, you wouldn't quite go for the best players.

"There was a feeling you either couldn't go for the best players because financially you didn't have the money or you couldn't attract the players to come to Liverpool because Arsenal were better, we were better.

Gary Neville

"You weren't at that time attractive to come to as a club because you hadn't won the league for a number of years. It always felt like you were toying with it in the transfer market. If the market was at £13m, £15m, Liverpool were at £8m. If the market was at £25m, you were sort of at £16m. You were never quite up there."

But Liverpool decided to fork out a lot of money on Van Dijk and Alisson, and Neville has explained (thanks Gary, we were struggling to see that) that the pair were the final pieces of the jigsaw for the Reds. 

He continued: "I think that's what's shocked me in the last few years about what Jurgen Klopp's done. Because up until the point where he went for Alisson and Van Dijk, Liverpool still weren't going to the levels of the other clubs.

Alisson Becker

"The other clubs were at £60m-70m, whereas Liverpool were are sort of £25m-30m, maybe getting to £35m. All of a sudden, you talk about the last piece of the jigsaw, and then all of a sudden Van Dijk happens and then Alisson happens and you think 'Oh'.

"They were the last pieces of the jigsaw in essence."

As a result of their impressive form, ​a source has told 90min that Liverpool have been working hard to finalise new deals for both Van Dijk and Alisson, and both players are on the verge of putting pen to paper. 

Source : 90min