David Prutton: Liverpool should sign reported £3.6m-a-year man from PL rivals
By Danny Wright
David Prutton says that Liverpool should do their utmost to sign Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk in the summer and believes that previous deals between the two clubs could be the key.
The former Saints midfielder said to the Liverpool Echo that the Reds would be ‘foolish’ to not look at signing the Dutchman.
Van Dijk is a wanted man and Prutton believes Jurgen Klopp should do everything to bring him to Anfield in the summer in order to improve his side’s poor defensive record.
The 25-year-old is earning £3.6million-a-year under Claude Puel, according to The Telegraph, and as a key part of the first team, he will not come cheaply for Liverpool.
Liverpool have history of picking up players from Southampton. In recent years they have acquired the likes of Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Sadio Mane from the south-coast club.
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Prutton, who played for Southampton between 2003 and 2007, thinks that those previous deals could mean Liverpool have an advantage over other top Premier League clubs.
“If you’re one of Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool you’d be foolish not to look at him,” the 35-year-old said in the Liverpool Echo.
“Liverpool obviously have a good dialogue and a business relationship with Southampton, although I wouldn’t say that puts them at the front of the queue.
“You’d think from a business point of view, it probably gives them a head start when it comes to building a rapport and business relationship.”
Van Dijk moved to St. Marys in 2015 for a fee of £13million after completing a move from Celtic.
He has made 30 appearances in all competitions for the Saints this season and has scored four goals in the process.
The commanding centre-back has suffered with injury as of late and has missed the last four games.
Football Insider Verdict
Liverpool need to sort out their defence this summer and Van Dijk is one of the top five centre-backs in the Premier League right now. His performances have paralleled those of the highly-rated Toby Alderweireld, David Luiz and Laurent Koscielny this season but Liverpool will face stiff competition to sign him.
Dejan Lovren has been somewhat of a flop since making the switch to Anfield despite looking solid in the red and white stripes of Southampton.
However Van Dijk seems a different class and is the modern defender that all the top clubs should need. Real Madrid and Barcelona should be looking at him – he is that good. He is tall, strong, quick, good in the air, scores goals and is good with the ball at his feet.
In other Liverpool news, Klopp delivers his thoughts on Leicester ahead of their meeting on Monday.