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Virgil van Dijk.

The reason Crystal Palace didn't want to sign Virgil van Dijk in 2014

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Virgil van Dijk is set to become the world's most expensive defender in January after agreeing to join Liverpool earlier this week.

Jurgen Klopp has negotiated a £75 million fee with Southampton and the Dutchman will join his new club in just a few days. 

Since joining the Saints in 2015, he has earned a reputation as one of the best centre-backs in the league. 

And with Liverpool struggling defensively this season, he could be just the man to help them secure a top four finish for the second year in a row. 

Before he moved to England, Van Dijk spent two seasons in Scotland with Celtic, where he made 76 league appearances and caught the eye of a number of clubs before his move to the south.

In fact, in 2014, another Premier League club, Crystal Palace, rejected the chance to sign the world's most expensive defender for just £6 million. 

And their reason for failing to land him is quite ridiculous. 

"When I was at Palace, it was difficult to sign players," Neil Warnock, who was in charge of the club three years ago, told talkSPORT

Celtic v Malmo FF - UEFA Champions League: Qualifying Round Play Off First Leg

"I went after the centre-half at Celtic, Van Dijk, and they wanted £6 million. I said 'we have got to buy him, don't we?'

"The chief scout went to watch him and said 'he is not very quick, it's Scottish football'. That was before Southampton came in for him."

So, according to Warnock, Palace decided against signing Van Dijk because of how quick he was. Fast forward three years and the club has been left red-faced. 

Brighton and Hove Albion v Southampton - Premier League

The 26-year-old has grown into an almost complete defender. He's by no means slow, is a smooth passer as well as a strong tackler and he's great in the air.

Arguably, he's the exact player Palace are in need of right now too. 

So the fact that they missed the chance to sign him for £6 million just a few years ago will add to the disappointment their fans have suffered this season. 

Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Would Crystal Palace be in a better position if they had Virgil van Dijk at centre-back? Have YOUR say in the comments below. 

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Topics:
Crystal Palace
Football
Celtic FC
Neil Warnock
Liverpool

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