Monday 23 July 2018

'Wow...what a number' - How Jurgen Klopp changes his tune on big-money buys after Virgil van Dijk deal

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will get to see transfer target Virgil van Dijk at close-quarters when Southampton visit on Saturday.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will get to see transfer target Virgil van Dijk at close-quarters when Southampton visit on Saturday.
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has urged the club's supporters to 'forget the price tag' attached to his latest signing Virgil van Dijk after his club sealed a record breaking £75m move for the Dutch defender.

Van Dijk will become the world's most expensive defender when he finalises his move to Liverpool on January 1st, with Klopp insisting he is not worried about the fee his club paid for their new No.4.

"I can imagine people will think ‘wow, what a number it is’ but for me it is not really interesting," declared Klopp.

"We don't make the prices, the market does. Liverpool supporters should forget about the price.

"We only talk about the player and what he can bring in; the quality, the mentality, the character. That is why we are really happy about it.

"He's a tall player - they always need a little bit longer especially after being out for around nine months - but that's no problem. We already have quality here in that position so we don't have to rush anything.

"He needs to adapt to our style of play. It's a completely different game, but we are 100 per cent sure he will do it."

Klopp's comments are contrasted by his words when he was asked to comment on Manchester United's move to sign Paul Pogba in the summer of 2016 for a fee of around £89m.

The Liverpool boss suggested United's decision to hand over what was then a world record fee for Pogba was a major gamble, as he hinted he would be uncomfortable paying out so much to sign one player.

"If you bring one player in for £100m and he gets injured, then it all goes through the chimney," he said last year.

"The day that this is football, I’m not in a job anymore, because the game is about playing together.

"That is how everybody in football understands it. You always want to have the best, but building the group is necessary to be successful.

"Other clubs can go out and spend more money and collect top players. I want to do it differently. I would even do it differently if I could spend that money."

Mr Klopp's tune has certainly altered after Liverpool's finally entered the big spending league to land Van Dijk.

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