Gary Neville has questioned the ‘incredible’ £75million fee paid by Liverpool to sign Netherlands international Virgil van Dijk from Southampton. Liverpool confirmed on Wednesday they had reached an agreement to make Van Dijk, who was also linked with Manchester City and Chelsea, the most expensive defender in history. Former Manchester United and England star Neville insists Liverpool needed to bolster Jurgen Klopp’s defensive options but suggested they paid over the odds for Van Dijk.
He told Sky Sports: ‘It’s a lot of money! When I first heard it I thought “wow, £75m”. I’m not surprised by the actual transfer but that is an incredible amount of money. ‘Liverpool need defenders and have to pay to get him. That’s the way the market is and it isn’t going to change.’ Liverpool were expected to sign Van Dijk last summer but were forced to abandon the chase after being accused of tapping-up offences. Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville (Picture: Getty) But Klopp has finally secured his long-term target in a deal that eclipses the £53m paid by Manchester City for Kyle Walker.
‘It sounds like a fantastic deal for Southampton,’ Neville added. ‘But if Liverpool can stop their creaking in big matches when put under pressure then it will be a good deal for Liverpool as well. ‘People will forget about the money that has been spent in a year or two if they can win trophies and get the defence right. ‘Liverpool have to get the defence right, in the bigger matches they do stress quite quickly and can crack, so from their point of view, paying that sort of money hopefully it pays off, but for Southampton they would snap your hand off for £75m.’
Van Dijk, meanwhile, said he was ‘honoured’ to have joined ‘one of the biggest clubs in the world’. ‘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,’ he said.
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