The iconic former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has advised his former club to make a move for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool fans were ecstatic as Gerrard joined their academy coaching staff recently, and it is not too difficult to surmise that the Englishman’s words carry a lot of weight at Anfield.
The Reds are yet to foray into the transfer market this winter, and Gerrard was asked about this in a recent interview. The 36-year-old singled out Southampton’s Dutch centre-half Virgil van Dijk as a good option, while also acknowledging the club’s history of raiding the South coast club.
“Who I think we need, I would go and try and bid for Van Dijk from Southampton,” Gerrard told BT Sport, according to the Liverpool Echo.
“But we’ve had enough of their players so that will probably go down like a lead balloon.”
Liverpool have signed many of their key first team players from the Saints over the past few seasons. The likes of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Sadio Mane all joined the Reds from Southampton, and Van Dijk could be the latest to follow this well trodden path.
Liverpool are believed to be interested in a move for Virgil van Dijk, but Southampton are unwilling to listen to offers for one of their best players. The 25-year-old had formed a rock solid central defensive partnership with Jose Fonte for the Saints, but the latter joined West Ham United last week.
Given the sale of Fonte, the Saints will be even more resolved to hold on to Van Dijk. The Dutchman has started in all but one of Southampton’s Premier League games this season, clocking in more than 1800 minutes in 21 appearances.
The statistics show that Van Dijk has been instrumental in defense. He has made an average of 1.9 tackles, 2.6 interceptions and a whopping 6.8 clearances per game in the Premier League this season (stats via whoscored). His aerial prowess, quick thinking and general awareness have made him one of the best defenders around.
It remains to be seen if Liverpool make a bid for the player this January, but the endorsement from Gerrard could prompt the club to make a move eventually.