Tag Archives: Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk: Liverpool will be back at their best against Roma

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Virgil van Dijk has admitted Liverpool let their standards slip against West Bromwich Albion but insisted that their home game against Roma will prove a welcome and contrasting proposition.

Liverpool squandered a two-goal lead on their visit to West Brom after struggling to cope with set pieces late on but Van Dijk is confident they will rise to the occasion in the semi-final first leg.

“We need to do better,” he said. “You have to tell each other the truth you cannot be nice and happy when we want to achieve so much as a team and a club. A draw is not good enough but there is no reason to panic. There is no need to stress.”

“I don’t worry at all. They [West Brom] are fighting for their lives so in the end they are very direct, balls into the channel, work hard, trying to get fouls and free-kicks and we didn’t cope with that how we should have. To concede two goals from set pieces as well where we have always the same roles to do and we didn’t do that. So it is disappointing but I am not worried at all.”

After witnessing Roma’s extraordinary comeback against FC Barcelona to advance from the quarter-finals on away goals, Liverpool, who will hold their pre-match team meeting on Monday, will not be taking anything for granted against the Serie A side.

“It will be hard work and we need to be ready for anything and then obviously the tough game in Rome,” Van Dijk added. “That will be a hard one as well, but we need to enjoy that because not many players, teams come to this stage and have the chance of getting to a final. We will prepare as well as we can and see what happens.”

“I have not played against Dzeko before but everyone knows the result against Barcelona. They are a very good team and we have to be ready. I don’t fear anyone. We play a different style to Roma. It will be a different game to this one. The system we played at the end today won’t be the same.”

Liverpool set to sign Virgil van Dijk for world-record £75m fee

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Liverpool will sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton next week after agreeing a fee of £75m for the Holland international — another world record fee paid for a defender in recent years.

Southampton will earn around £70m up front with a further £5m of clauses and performance-related add-ons, while van Dijk’s former club Celtic are also expected to net around 10% of the fee as a result of the £11.5m deal that saw Van Dijk head to Southampton in 2015.

The transfer comes after a summer transfer saga in which Southampton felt that Liverpool had overstepped and made a formal complaint to the Premier League as Liverpool duly backed off.

However, negotiations between the two clubs accelerated over the festive period before Van Dijk underwent a medical on Wednesday after successfully agreeing personal terms on a contract until 2023 worth in the region of £180,000-a-week.

“Liverpool football club can confirm they have reached an agreement with Southampton for the transfer of Virgil van Dijk,” read an official statement from the Merseyside club. “The Reds have agreed a deal with the south coast club, and the player himself, that will see the 26-year-old defender move to Anfield when the transfer window re-opens on 1 January 2018.”

The news was also confirmed by the player himself, who tweeted: “[I am] delighted and honoured to have agreed to become a Liverpool FC player. Today is a proud day for me and my family as I join one of the biggest clubs in world football. I can’t wait to pull on the famous red shirt for the first time in front of the Kop and will give everything I have to try and help this great club achieve something special in the years to come.”

“I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Les Reed, the board, manager, players, fans and everyone at Southampton. I will always be indebted to the club for giving me the opportunity to play in the Premier League and despite a difficult last few months I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saints and have made friends for life at the club. Thank you for everything.”

Van Dijk will wear the No. 4 shirt at Liverpool and may make his debut in the FA Cup third-round tie against Everton on 5 January, and is also eligible to play in the Champions League against Porto in February.

Southampton signs Wesley Hoedt from Lazio for £15m

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Southampton has announced the arrival of Lazio centre-back Wesley Hoedt for a reported £15m.

Hoedt, a Dutch international, is the second centre-back signed by Mauricio Pellegrino this summer following the arrival of Jan Bednarek for £5.7m in July.

“I’m really happy to be here,” said Hoedt after his official unveiling. “I think Southampton is a really big club, so it’s a good next step for me to come here and to play in the Premier League and try to help the best I can.”

The arrival of both players had increased speculation over Virgil Van Dijk’s future, despite Southampton’s football vice-chairman, Les Reed, reinforcing the chairman Ralph Kreuger’s claim that the defender will stay at St. Mary’s and will “develop alongside” Hoedt, his compatriot.

“Wesley is one of the most promising young defenders in Europe and represents a significant addition to our squad,” Reed said in an official statement.

“We believe he can develop even further here at Southampton, alongside his international team-mate Virgil van Dijk, as well as the likes of Jack Stephens, Maya Yoshida, Jan Bednarek and Florin Gardos. With Wesley joining those players, we believe we have the right amount of quality, depth and flexibility to help us achieve our aims this season.”

However, although he had took part in training with the Saints’ under-23s squad on Monday, Van Dijk is still unavailable for selection after being heavily linked with a summer transfer to bigger clubs such as Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City and submitting a transfer request earlier this month.

Virgil van Dijk submits transfer request after Southampton “insults”

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Dutch international Virgil van Dijk has submitted a transfer request in a bid to leave the Premier League club.

Van Dijk, 26, is highly rated and has plenty of suitors over the summer, but saw one move to Liverpool collapsed after Southampton reported the Merseyside club to the Premier League for an alleged illegal approach to the player.

Liverpool were subsequently forced into an apology. Additionally, in a bid to defuse the situation, Jurgen Klopp’s team also promised that they would refrain from any pursuits towards the former Celtic player, thereby placating Southampton authorities.

However, van Dijk became unsettled with the Saints after club coach Mauricio Pellegrino revealing that the player had been training alone and was not in the right frame of mind to play for Southampton.

Even as the club continuously insists that the Holland international is not for sale, Van Dijk has now made it plain he wishes to leave, saying that he felt “insulted” by suggestions he has refused to train.

A statement from Van Dijk read: “It is with regret I can confirm I have today handed in a transfer request to leave Southampton.”

“I have been left frustrated by the club’s position that I am not for sale and am disappointed inquiries from multiple top clubs have been consistently rebuffed.”

“The period of time that I have just spent injured and unable to play has put a number of things into perspective and made me realise just how important it is to take major opportunities should they arise. I have consistently relayed my feelings to senior management in what I believed to be private and personal conversations.”

“Disappointingly these conversations have regularly found their way into the media. I would also like to make clear that I have never once refused to train. As a proud professional I am insulted by the suggestion that it was me who refused to train and so feel it is important to point out the true version of events.

“However, the time for me to move on is now and I hope to be able to work with the club to find the best resolution to suit all parties.”

Liverpool were willing to pay a world-record sum for a defender — around £60m — to win the race for Van Dijk, although it remains to be seen whether Liverpool will now return for their No.1 summer transfer target.