Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool fans will have to wait to see Virgil van Dijk in action after the centre-back completed a stunning £75 million move to Anfield.
Despite Leicester City exposing Liverpool’s defence flaws in the third minute of Saturday’s match, Carragher doubts Jurgen Klopp will throw his new signing into the starting line-up straight away.
“Will he help Liverpool finish in the top four? Yes, it’s more likely because they’ve now got a better defender than what they had before,” Carragher said.
“But, I think looking at Van Dijk these last few months, I think he’s got to get fitter. Maybe he could lose a few pounds as he’s not been playing much.
“I’m not sure he’ll go straight in.”
Regardless of whether Van Dijk makes his debut in Friday’s FA Cup tie against Everton or later, his arrival has gone down extremely well in Liverpool.
The 26-year-old has given his first interview since completing his move from Southampton and he came across as a player enthralled at the opportunity.
“It is just a perfect, perfect match for me, and for my family as well,” Van Dijk said, per Liverpool’s website.
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) January 1, 2018
WHY HE PICKED NO.4
The defender’s new number was also a topic of conversation. The Dutch international wore number 17 at St Mary’s but that shirt is currently occupied by Ragnar Klavan at Liverpool.
Ultimately, it wasn’t a difficult decision for Van Dijk to take the number four shirt, as he explained.
“I had number four when I played for Groningen back in Holland, so I was always a big fan of number four anyway,” he said.
“Unfortunately at Southampton, my good friend Jordy Clasie had number four, so I didn’t want to take it from him!
“I just like number four. Obviously here, Sami Hyypia had it here as well and played for my team where I played 10 years in Holland, Willem II, so it’s a bit special.”
Liverpool supporters would love to see Van Dijk enjoy a similar career to Hyypia, who won the Champions League and two FA Cups during his 10-year stay on Merseyside.
For such a hefty price tag, that has to be the mindset of a player viewed as Liverpool’s defensive saviour.
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) December 27, 2017