January Transfer Window opens. VVD arrives!

It’s that time of year again. Liverpool can buy new and exciting players to strengthen the squad with. Concerns were certainly raised in 2017 over just how strong our defence is and fans voiced their opinions loud enough to let the club know that we’d be needing a new defender. Well, the club took notice and we did actually get one.

Jurgen Klopp has already sealed a deal for the club and secured Virgil Van Dijk.

Exclusive news about a pre-agreement to sign Virgil Van Dijk broke from the official Liverpool FC website over Christmas (explaining why he’s standing in front a Christmas tree!). Around December 27th Southampton and Liverpool had made contact with each other, contract negotiations were all but a formality and the transfer was agreed upon by player and each of the clubs, even before the January Transfer Window had opened.

Virgil even managed to make it to Anfield as Liverpool played (and defeated) Leicester City in the last home game of 2017. Fans were incredibly excited to welcome him to his new home stadium.

Good to see you! A young and very excited Liverpool fan wearing a shirt that says “VIRGIL” on it was at Anfield to welcome Van Dijk to the club

Van Dijk stands in front of the “Wall of Champions” that talks about how many trophies Liverpool have won since 1892. He knows how successful a club he’s just joined.

Virgil Van Dijk watches Liverpool play Leicester City from the stands at Anfield. He wasn’t eligible to play in the game since the January Transfer Window hadn’t opened to make his transfer official just yet.

We know now that the contract Virgil Van Dijk agreed to sign was worth £180,000 per week and Southampton would claim £75 Million in a transfer fee for the Dutch defender. The transfer fee is a world record fee for a defender and smashes any of Liverpool’s previous transfer fees paid in the clubs history since 1892. Most expensive Liverpool player. EVER.

Liverpool fans all over the world are less worried about the large amount of money paid for him than they were about having a secure defence, trust me. I am one of them and believe that this transfer brings about a new era that will see us strengthen the back line and concede less goals than was happening before his arrival.

Liverpool have got some of the best attackers in the world at the club scoring goals for us but it will mean much less if we’re getting unwanted draws and defeats instead of winning because we’re conceding too many goals at the other end of the pitch. Results and even goal difference can be important, especially in knockout competitions like the Champions League where qualification from the group stage can mean needing the most goals scored and the least goals conceded. A loss in the knockout rounds of the Champions League will see you “knocked out” of the competition – elimination by defeat. You win or you won’t progress to the next round for another fixture. So, defence will matter a lot and keeping clean sheets is an achievement that the club should try to achieve in any of those important fixtures. Virgil Van Dijk is just what we need to help us do these things.

 

Wijnaldum and Van Dijk played together in the same Dutch international team

Gini Wijnaldum spoke publicly about his excitement over this player joining the club as his fellow Dutchman also came to be a fellow red.

What was your reaction when the signing of Virgil Van Dijk was announced?

GINI: I’m really happy, of course. Virgil is not only my teammate now but is also a friend of mine. I’ve played together with him for the national team. I’m happy that he’s coming – now I’m not the only Dutch player!

What can fans expect from him?

GINI: A lot, I think. He already showed it at Southampton. Of course, he has to show it again. It’s going to be a new start for him – he has to show it at a new club. That’s not easy but he is capable of showing us he is going to make us better.

What kind of character is Virgil off the pitch?

GINI: Off the pitch, he is a really nice guy and a funny guy. That’s why I always [spend time] with him at the national team. He is himself, he is always easygoing. Even in difficult moments we’ve had with the national team, he still tries to be himself and tries to enjoy football and the time he can spend with his teammates.

Can he improve at Liverpool?

GINI: Every player can always improve. He will improve. He is going to work with good players, a good manager and good technical staff. That will help him to be a better player. I think he will improve.

Does this kind of signing generate excitement in the squad?

GINI: Liverpool is a big club that will always sign big players. In the squad, everyone will be happy if big players come to the club because it gives you a better chance of winning games and winning trophies. 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.

How much can he help for the rest of the season?

GINI: He can help us to win something because he is a good player, he already showed that at Southampton. It’s good for us – if you train with better players, you can improve and get better. It’s good for everyone that he’s coming to Liverpool.

WELL SAID, GINI!

I’m sure most if not all Liverpool fans echo the sentiments of Wijnaldum and believe that this transfer is the beginning of great things to come. I’m excited to see what happens as Klopp begins to change the squad to fit around Virgil Van Dijk in the heart of the defence.

We’ll be seeing Van Dijk wear squad number 4 at Liverpool, by the way. Virgil spoke of this –

You’ve taken the No.4 jersey – was there any particular reason you wanted that number?

VVD: I had No.4 when I played for Groningen back in Holland, so I was always a big fan of No.4 anyway. Unfortunately at Southampton, my good friend Jordy Clasie had No.4, so I didn’t want to take it from him! I just like No.4. Obviously here, Sami Hyypia had it here as well and played for my team where I played 10 years in Holland, Willem II, so it’s a bit special.

Virgil also had a special message just for the Liverpool fans –

VVD: I am going to work hard every game, every day. I am going to give my everything, try to keep clean sheets and hopefully try and be a threat in front of goal as well. I think the main thing is just to organise, try to keep clean sheets. I will give everything I’ve got in every game.

Well, there it is! Our new signing has arrived and is ready to work hard for the club. WELCOME TO LIVERPOOL FC, VIRGIL VAN DIJK! YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE.

[written by] Stuart Drewery.

I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.

I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s

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