Virgil van Dijk is Worth £70m to Liverpool

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Nonsense governs the football transfer market. Trying to find sense in the machinations of hyper rich football clubs and the pursuit of their transfer targets is puerile. There is no universal rule that applies to all clubs when it comes to valuing players; rather it is subjective and depends on the context of the club willing to spend money on a said player.

This bring us to Virgil van Dijk and his proposed and so far turbulent transfer to Liverpool. The 25 year old Dutch centre half has, according to reports, agreed to join Liverpool ahead of Manchester City and Chelsea. Celebrating convincing such a highly coveted player to join Liverpool, ahead of the bigger riches of Chelsea and Manchester City, Liverpool briefed the media that van Dijk had indeed chosen that his next career destination would be Liverpool. As Paul Joyce of the Times accurately put it “Liverpool were too busy patting themselves on the back to put in a formal bid for van Dijk”.

Incensed at Liverpool leaking the story of van Dijk’s preference to move to Anfield and thereby killing any possible auction for the player, Southampton threatened to report Liverpool to the FA for tapping up their player. Liverpool hastily issued an apology in response to Southampton’s protestations and publicly declared their interest in the player was over.

However, as the weeks have progressed the possibility of van Dijk joining Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have been revived but, per various media reports, Southampton would demand an eye watering £70M for player. Obviously, at close to double Liverpool’s record transfer outlay this is a huge amount of money and, should he sign, it would burden the player with even more pressure than usual to Liverpool.

But, value is relative and, in the context of Liverpool, Van Dijk would be worth the requisite £70M it’d take the prize the former Celtic defender from Saint Mary’s.

Liverpool’s defensive fragility over the past five or so years has been well publicised and van Dijk is the perfect candidate to help alleviate and improve upon these ingrained issues. Quick, strong, intelligent, aerially dominant and very assured and composed on the ball, van Dijk is the idyllic centre half to play in Liverpool’s possession dominating, high pressing game. It’s not hyperbolic to suggest that van Dijk is in the elite group of the world’s central defenders, and it is to Liverpool’s good fortune that the Dutchman is at a selling club, Southampton. Indeed, all of the other players in van Dijk’s class, Bonucci, Hummels, Silva, are at European heavyweight clubs who would never countenance a sale.

The defensive improvements van Dijk would bring to Liverpool’s side over the incumbent left sided centre half, Lovren, are self-evident, but the colossal Dutchman would also add to the Reds’ already potent attacking game. Especially during his stint at Celtic, it wasn’t uncommon to see van Dijk stride out of defence with the ball, in a manner similar to the great Brazilian defender, Lucio. Of course, there has to be the caveat that the Scottish Premier League is a weak league, but it was indicative of his talent and confidence on the ball. Further to this, van Dijk slotting in at left sided centre half would enable Liverpool to play a more ambitious, attacking full-back than James Milner. Despite all his effort of honesty, James Milner badly struggled in the left-back berth towards the end of last season. Van Dijk replacing Lovren, however, would enable Liverpool to play a full-back whose primary objective isn’t to protect their erratic left sided centre half and employ a more capable, attacking full-back and that would add further variety and potency to an already dangerous Liverpool attack.

Joel Matip, too, stands to benefit in a big way from any van Dijk move to Liverpool. The Cameroonian centre half had a mixed bag of a debut season at Liverpool. Good on the ball and possessing the prerequisite physical attributes needed for a top centre half, Matip’s good start to the season was stalled by FIFA enforced red tape that saw him miss over a month of action whilst the African Cup of Nations – a competition he chose to miss – took place. After returning, the calmness and assuredness that were hallmarks of the first few months of the former Schalke man’s Liverpool career disappeared, and there were a palpable nervousness to his game. However, van Dijk’s hypothetical arrival could alter Matip’s role in the team and allow him to be a more pragmatic, reactive centre half with a simpler remit, whilst the Dutchman would assume the role of the proactive, ball playing cente half. On paper, the dynamic between van Dijk and Matip could resemble that of Hummels’ and Subotic’s title winning tandem at Klopp’s previous club, Borussia Dortmund.

However you slice it, £70M is a lot of money but if the signing of Virgil van Dijk helps Liverpool consolidate in the Champions League and, from that base, eventually challenge and win the Premier League title then the fee would fade into irrelevance.

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  1. Question now is that :

    1. Will Southampton sell Van Dijk after the strained relationship?
    2. Will FSG sanction a 70 million bid after publicly backtracking?

  2. Could somebody from the club, Liverpool that is, please give the fans an indication as to where exactly we are in signing the player. There is so much talk around the player, but to my mind very little action. I would love to know what happened to the person that leaked the news of a possible transfer long before the other club was approached. My advice would be to get professionals to deal with these sensitive issues.

  3. Liverpool aren’t gonna come out and say anything, lest they get into trouble again. LFC officials probably told all reporters close to the club to keep their traps shut. I am certain that things are going on behind the scenes and only when a medical is planned would we hear about it. This to my mind is a good thing.

  4. LFC have officially ended all interest in the player. To me this must have been a requirement or part of the agreement with Southampton so that LFC would avoid punishment for the alleged tapping. I do not see us going back for him, not this season anyway. We are better off focusing on other targets.

  5. This sensitive matter is one that must be discussed in confidence between Mr Henry and the lady Owner of Southampton FC. If Southampton are prepared to sell VvD this summer or next Liverpool must make their offer so attractive that the Saints cannot sell him to another EPL club. Liverpool have players that they are able to sell or loan to Southampton which would enable them to accept Liverpool’s purchase of this keystone player without feeling they had their nest robbed.
    However, Mr Henry must now ask why Liverpool’s Transfer Committee/Scouts are continually found wanting and Liverpool FC are annually embarassed seeking to buy their players. Should not Liverpool have signed VvD from Celtic Fc instead of Southampton?

  6. The transfer fees in the last few seasons are so obscene. No doubt I am a Liverpool fan, can’t help but wonder how the money can help the needy…

    Maybe no restrictions to transfer youngsters below 18 and restrict transfer to 2 per season above 18. Salary tiers e.g. Tier 1, $100,000-200,000 p/w limited to 2 players(foreign or local) and 1player(local), Tier 2 $80,000-99,999 p/w limited to 3 players so on and so forth… Hope someone in Fifa and the other FAs can come up with a better system and bring more balance to the leagues.

    I think it just kills the game that some rich conglomerate just dump in money or borrow huge from banks to buy honours. Roman A. today maybe Jack Ma tomorrow?

  7. I totally agree with this. The cost of VVD is a misleading point because we would need to buy at least two more players if we don’t get him. Furthermore, there’s plenty of players we could offload to help finance the deal thereby trading in average players for proven quality. I really believe if we get VVD we will be much much harder to beat and turn wasted points of the last few seasons into positive points.

  8. Firstly, Chelsea signing Rüdiger for 33+5 should demonstrate the market hasn’t ballooned as much as originally thought and that paying 70 for VVD is madness. There are definitely other targets out there who fit the bill that aren’t nearly as expensive leaving money for other targets. “However you slice it” VVD hasn’t played at a truly big club where the pressure on the defence holding up with fewer numbers is increased, so I don’t know how you could compare with Bonucci, , Boateng, Ramos, Pique or any other top defenders. That’s not to say he might not be one of the best, but he’s unproven at that level yet he’s being priced there.
    Far better to pay less and go after Gimenez/Hernandez on Athletico, Tah on Bayer, Koulibaly on Napoli, or someone else of that ilk. Liverpool are not Madrid where you can bury a 55 million pound James on your bench, every dollar has to be spent wisely. So let’s be reasonable.

  9. Way way to much! That’s top striker money! 30 to 40 mill yes but 70 for defender & not the best defender in world either. If lfc pay it the price of defenders everywhere will go mental! We should forget it every team that was interested did same & could be reported! His Dutch team mate De vie (soz about spelling) is half price & as good so then we could have more for Mendy or another CB to really defend the line or go for top line striker to give us that killer instinct up front! I mean come on prices of footballers are going overboard ,& we’ve been best customer of Southampton for years if they don’t want to sell! But if did get him imagine if he bombed!!! Last year we did some fantastic business & made money so I trust klopp!


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