In December 2017, Liverpool officially signed Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for a fee of £75 million.

Kevin Palmer from Sunday World was the first journalist to break the story. Palmer said that Van Dijk’s move to Liverpool is the biggest transfer story that he has broke in his career.

Palmer stated that he had “great contacts at Southampton”.

Palmer told The Empire of the Kop: “You may or may not know that the biggest transfer story I ever broke was Van Dijk to Liverpool.

“A few thoughts on how this came about. So many ‘transfer experts’ on Twitter were convinced Van Dijk would go to Liverpool the previous summer, but I have great contacts at Southampton and they simply refused to let him go to Liverpool on a point of principle. They were furious about the meeting with Klopp, Edwards, Team VVD that was not permitted by Southampton and not even the apology from Liverpool solved that problem.

“When it became clear that Van Dijk would not settle back into work at Southampton, they decided the only option was to sell.

“However, Liverpool were NOT going to pay the £75m asking price and continued to refuse until mid-December 2017, when they suddenly agreed. Southampton were confused at the time as they didn’t see anyone paying that much, but Liverpool had a dramatic change of heart, presumably because they had agreed to sell Coutinho to Barcelona.

“The story was a massive coup for me personally. To break a story that big is a rarity for any journalist and Van Dijk’s success at Liverpool has added to the gravitas of the moment. It’s not often you get a story that big, so no harm in reminding people about it from time to time!”

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ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT

We remember seeing the news live. It was quite a shock, as it is common knowledge that big money transfers don’t normally happen in the January transfer window.

However, Liverpool got the deal done, and what a signing Van Dijk has proven to be.

In 124 appearances for Liverpool, Van Dijk has won the Champions League and Premier League title.

In 2019, Van Dijk was the runner-up for the Ballon d’Or, which highlights how good he has been for Liverpool. Only Lionel Messi was ahead of him for the award.

Van Dijk’s current contract expires in 2023, which means that Liverpool supporters should be able to sit back and watch the Dutchman for a few more years at least.

 

About The Author

Freelance sports journalist and Red from Melbourne.

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