Virgil van Dijk 'cannot wait to pull on famous red shirt' after Liverpool move
Virgil van Dijk is ready to prove his worth by helping Liverpool win more trophies after Southampton agreed to sell the centre-back in a world-record £75million deal.
The move of the Holland international from January 1 was confirmed by both clubs on Wednesday evening and the transfer is understood to be the highest price paid ever for a defender.
Van Dijk soon issued a personal statement on his Twitter page, posing with a Liverpool shirt, to express his 'delight and honour' to be joining "one of the biggest clubs in world football."
The deal will eclipse the £54m spent by Manchester City to sign England full-back Kyle Walker from Tottenham during the summer and also sees a protracted saga reach its end.
However now the transfer is eventually concluded, Van Dijk must now live up to the weight of expectation.
"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," the Dutchman wrote on his social media accounts.
Van Dijk had handed in a transfer request before the start of the new season, making it clear he wanted Southampton to take up the interest from Liverpool.
The Reds, meanwhile, issued a public apology in June for "any misunderstanding" following suggestions of an improper approach for the centre-back.
The 26-year-old trained on his own before being reintegrated into Southampton's first-team squad as he recovered from an ankle injury. The defender made his first appearance of the season as a late substitute in the 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on September 16.
Van Dijk, though, now has his focus firmly on helping the Reds achieve their targets over the closing months of the campaign - with Jurgen Klopp's side currently fourth in the Premier League following the 5-0 trashing of bottom club Swansea on Boxing Day.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes the record fee will prove money well spent if Van Dijk helps the Anfield club achieve more success.
"Rio Ferdinand went to Manchester United, for I think just over £30million, but he repaid that. He was Manchester United's top centre-back, won trophies and was there for 10 years," Carragher said on Sky Sports.
"That's what Van Dijk has to do - take Liverpool to trophies and be Liverpool's main, number one, centre-back for the next decade or so."
The Dutchman joined Southampton during September 2015 from Celtic, who are set to receive a hefty seven-figure sell-on fee as part of the Liverpool deal which the south-coast club said "will set a new world-record for a defender".
Van Dijk added in his Twitter post that he would "always be indebted" to Southampton for giving him the chance of Premier League football.
"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," he wrote.
Who is your sportstar of the year?
Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.
Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.