Sunday 30 April 2017

'There is maybe an issue with scouts' - Brendan Rodgers has a dig at Liverpool as he reveals Virgil van Dijk snub

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Brendan Rodgers has revealed that he wanted to sign defender Virgil van Dijk during his time as Liverpool manager, he was blocked from making the move by the club’s decision makers.

Van Dijk caught the eye of Rodgers as he made his breakthrough with Groningen and when he took over as Liverpool manager in the summer of 2012, he urged Anfield chiefs to make a move for the young defender.

Yet that suggestion was not followed by a bid from Liverpool, with Van Dijk moving to Celtic and then on to Southampton, where he has emerged as one of the most sought after players in the Premier League.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have all been heavily linked with a move to sign the centre-back in recent months, with Celtic boss Rodgers confirming that Liverpool may have made a costly mistake when they opted out of a deal to sign Van Dijk in the summer of 2015, with his value soaring in the season and a half since.

“When I was at Liverpool I asked about Van Dijk when he was at Groningen and then at Celtic, but I was told he wouldn’t be for us at the time.

“Van Dijk could have jumped from Celtic to a Liverpool. Some clubs will want to see the players tested at certain arenas first.

“But if there is enough belief in the player then that counts. The key for scouting is trying to predict when the player is peaking.

“You could see with Van Dijk that he was quick, strong, good on the ball and decent in the air.

“So what more do you need to see? You could see him playing international football and, okay, clubs may want to see him in Champions League. There is maybe an issue with scouts.”

That final comment may reveal Rodgers thoughts on the recruitment set-up at Liverpool, with Van Dijk’s price tag now believed to be around the £40m mark ahead of a possible move next summer.

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