The Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool transfer saga started way before the beginning of the transfer window, but we sill have not seen the end of it.
The story had several ups and downs and the fans are waiting for an end to it.
It was always clear as daylight that Liverpool had defensive problems that needed sorting. And maybe due to Liverpool’s interest in signing Southampton players, van Dijk happened to be the first defender to be linked with Liverpool.
Top defensive target
When the transfer window started, it happened that van Dijk indeed was Jurgen Klopp’s top defensive target. Reliable Liverpool journalists even reported that the club was willing to pay a club record fee for the player.
Liverpool’s Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City was also in the market for the Dutchman.
The Merseyside club fans did not believe they could beat their rivals to the signing of the player. However, to everyone’s surprise news came out that van Dijk has agreed personal terms with the club.
This was received by the fans as a great sign of intent from the club and there was big excitement among the Liverpool fans. All that was left was the famous ‘Melwood lean’, many believed.
Twists and turns
Just a couple of days later, there were so many broken hearts.
An official statement was given by Liverpool apologising to Southampton for ‘illegally’ approaching their player. The statement also said that the club has dropped all interest in the player.
Though the Reds had to drop their heads down in shame, the fans still believe they could sign the player. The player is ready to come, the club is ready to give a big amount.
Everything is fine. Only problem is that Saints do not want to sell.
This week the player has even given a transfer request to Southampton.
The Saints are running out of options and will be forced to sell the player by the end of the transfer window.
There is a reason why Klopp is desperate to sign van Dijk. Despite Saints demanding more than £60 million, despite all the problems the club had to go through, they are sill willing to sign the player.
Defensive side needs sorting
Klopp has successfully implemented his attacking tactics at the club and he has left the opponent teams broken with it, but defensively the team has been weak.
Though Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren are decent, they have failed to keep the backline strong. If Liverpool and Klopp want to do better than last season, they need rock solid centre back.
And Klopp thinks Virgil van Dijk is the man for it.
The 26-year old is a fearless defender.
He is an intelligent tackler and a beast in the air. The Dutchman has experience playing in different major tournaments including the UEFA Champions League, which will help Liverpool a lot.
Another factor that makes van Dijk a perfect target for Liverpool is the fact that he is a ball playing defender. A defender who keeps danger away from his goal is a good defender, but a defender who can support his attackers is a better player. And van Dijk is such a ‘better player’.
Last season many of the teams, who are placed in the bottom half of the rankings table, ‘parked the bus’ against Liverpool. The Reds struggled to score goals, despite having their attackers in best form.
Van Dijk can help Liverpool in such situations. Being a good passer of the ball from the back, his passes can cause havocs to the opposition defenders.
Long balls from the back can result in the opposition failing to hold their defensive lines and Liverpool can take advantage of such situations. With the likes of Firmino, Mane, Salah and Coutinho we can fully expect them to exploit the opponents’ slightest mistakes.
Transfer should soon become a reality
Despite van Dijk giving a transfer request, Southampton remain stern on their stance of not selling their captain. However, they will not be able to hold to onto him much longer and will have to let him go.
A transfer of £65 million can be expected to happen and van Dijk will be soon partnering with Joel Matip at Liverpool.
Written by Dakir Thanveer
Follow Dakir on Twitter @ZakWriter
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