Debuts don’t get much better than Virgil van Dijk’s for Liverpool last Friday.
Not only did the Dutchman score an 84th-minute winner to fire his side through to the fourth round of the FA Cup, but it was against Merseyside rivals Everton at Anfield.
Van Dijk rose highest at Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s corner to head home and give Liverpool a 2-1 lead, sending Kopites into raptures.
And that’s how the game ended, with Van Dijk making an immediate impact and providing a taste of what’s to come following his £75 million move from Southampton.
“It was a nice fairytale, eh?” said Jurgen Klopp in his post-match press conference. “There are not a lot of fairytales left in the world so this one was pretty special.
“We made the decision this morning that Virgil would start and obviously it was a good idea in the end. His whole game was good.
“He showed a lot of the things we want him to show in the future. Heading, of course, football-wise, first touch good under pressure, and around set-pieces he was a proper threat. Cool.
“He was much better than I thought tonight, to be honest. I said before the game that my expectations are not easy to reach because I know how good he is.
“I only wanted him to show that. Thank God he reacted like that. It’s a really good start, a really nice one.”
an Dijk has made an excellent first impression, not only to Klopp and Liverpool’s fans, but his new teammates.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was one of many Liverpool players to tweet Van Dijk congratulating him for his historic goal against Everton.
Joe Gomez was certainly buzzing about the Dutchman’s dramatic winner judging by some tunnel footage that Liverpool have provided from after the game.
In the video below, Gomez gives Van Dijk a huge hug as they walk towards the changing rooms before heading in the opposite direction with a big smile on his face. Check it out.
GOMEZ EMBRACES VAN DIJK
Behind the scenes of Reds' Friday-night derby triumph 🔴💫
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 9, 2018
Bless. Gomez recently described Van Dijk as a centre-back he can “develop and learn from” now that they’ll be playing in the same back four.
“Personally, for me, it’s someone else I can learn from,” said the 20-year-old. “He is an experienced defender with a lot of quality.
“It’s another person for me to develop and learn from, the same as I have with [Liverpool’s other defenders].
“It’s nice to have someone else to try to help you develop. And for the team it is another massive signing.”