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Virgil Van Dijk.

Virgil Van Dijk explains why he was so desperate to join Liverpool all along

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Virgil Van Dijk is now officially a Liverpool player after what felt like one of the longest-running transfer sagas ever.

Jurgen Klopp courted the Dutch defender last summer, but Southampton reported Liverpool to the FA for tapping up their star man.

Even though Van Dijk clearly wanted the move and Southampton were all but resigned to losing the player, the Saints held firm and retained the former Celtic defender.

However, before the January transfer window was even open, Liverpool shelled out £75 million to make sure they got their man and Van Dijk trained with his teammates for the first time on New Year's Day.

The 26-year-old was courted by a whole host of top clubs during his time with Southampton - Liverpool were not the only club in the running.

Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal were all credited with an interest in the Dutch international, but reports suggest Van Dijk always had his heart set on a move to Anfield.

But why? Speaking to Liverpool's official website, Van Dijk claimed the size of the club and their enigmatic manager made the difference.

"I think the most important thing is the size of the club, the culture of the club, the players, the manager and obviously the fans, who make the club this special," Van Dijk insisted. "With the history at the club and everything around it – even the training ground and stuff – it is just a perfect, perfect match for me, and for my family as well."

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-LEICESTER

So just how important was Klopp in his decision? Massively, it turns out.

"Everybody obviously from a Liverpool perspective knows how he is; how lively he is, how he can make players better and give them confidence as well," Van Dijk said. "It just suits me as well. I think he can make me a better player and I am just looking forward to working with him."

It looks like Dejan Lovren's days in the starting XI are seriously in danger and it will be interesting to see if Van Dijk can be the real difference maker fans have believed he would be since he was linked with the club.

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