Virgil Van Dijk to Liverpool looks like it is back on. The club has made its peace with the Saints and they look like they are now prepared to do business with Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool.
The pursuit of Van Dijk feels like it has been a never ending story. I am not sure if many remember the films of the same name from the early 90’s. The big white creature in it used to frighten the bejaysus out of me.
There is little doubt that Liverpool are getting a top notch defender in Van Dijk, my only worry is the price tag.
This time last year Van Dijk would have cost Liverpool half of the price he is currently being valued at today.
The price clubs are quoting for players is so over inflated that some teams in the lower half of the league will struggle to keep up with those at the top.
With all the money the top teams are throwing around so far this summer, my fear is that the Premier League will turn out like F1, with only two or three teams realistically capable of winning major trophies.
I am not being critical of Van Dijk but £70 million for a centre back, in my opinion, is a bit of a rip off.
Even if Southampton are finally getting fed up with Liverpool stealing their best players year on year, I think £70 million for Van Dijk is a joke.
For me Liverpool, need two centre backs this summer, simply because an injury to either Van Dijk or Joël Matip (I’m assuming he’s going to partner Van Dijk at the back) means Liverpool are left with Dejan Lovren as back up.
Back to worrying about results and hoping that Liverpool’s new look attack can outscore the opposition team.
No disrespect to Lovren, but when his head goes it goes, and he is liable to do anything in and around the box. Remember when he was bought by Brendan Rodgers, he was hailed as Liverpool’s replacement for Jamie Carragher.
He was Southampton’s best defender but the fact that he had two defensive midfielders playing in front of him helped him considerably.
I feel that the money being quoted for Van Dijk could be put to better use.
£70 million could potentially get Liverpool two top quality centre backs in Europe.
I’m sure there are two centre backs of Van Dijk’s ability available in Germany. Players Klopp could turn in to world beaters. I mentioned to the great amusement of some, that I feel Ezequiel Garay, as a possible replacement for Van Dijk.
To be honest I was a bit sad to see Hull City’s Harry Maguire move to Leicester City. I liked what I saw from him last season, especially the way he out muscled Manchester United’s forwards in the League Cup semi finals.
Liverpool need a left back, that we all know. If Liverpool do sign Van Dijk, that’s over £100 million spent already this summer on two players and leaves James Milner as Liverpool’s first choice left back.
This for me is a bigger problem than worrying about Lovren’s head falling off in a match against Crystal Palace.
Van Dijk is a good centre back, everyone you talk to will tell you that. Some will argue the price Southampton want for him is to do with the fact he is their captain and has 4 years left on his contract. Also at 25, his best years are ahead of him.
While all that is good in theory, what happens if Van Dijk comes in and turns out to be another Lovren, a player who looked like the real deal because Southampton set up their team to suit his abilities.
The cost of the transfer and the expectations of playing for Liverpool start to get to him and come Christmas, Klopp is left with a £70 million flop on the bench.
With transfers you never know what is going to happen. That is the gamble a manager takes when he authorises a purchase, but at least with a £20 million player there is some chance of recouping some of the money paid for him when he is sold on.
If Van Dijk does not work out, who is going to pay £20+ million for a player who can’t even get in to the Liverpool team ahead of Lovren? Liverpool will be left with a player on massive wages who no one wants sitting on the bench.
If this happens it will be frustrating because Liverpool, it seems, will not have learned lessons from the past in the transfer market.
By Aaron Cawley.
Featured image by Ailura, CC BY-SA 3.0 AT