Football

Van Dijk.

The scout who identified Virgil van Dijk at Celtic has revealed his biggest problem

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Virgil van Dijk’s stunning £75 million price tag has been called into question, and it’s not hard to understand why.

Liverpool have made the centre-back the costliest defender in the history of football, surpassing the £54m Manchester City paid for Kyle Walker last summer.

It’s clear that Van Dijk won’t be allowed to put a foot wrong in a Liverpool shirt. Any mistake he makes will be lapped up by rival football fans, as has been the way for Paul Pogba at Manchester United.

In his first interview since completing his switch from Southampton, Van Dijk admitted he isn’t paying any attention to his price tag.

“Obviously there is a lot of money being paid, but I can’t do anything about that money, I can’t do anything about the price - nobody can,” he told Liverpool’s website.

“It’s only the market. The only thing I can do is just work hard, do the good things and be 100 per cent every day. That’s what I definitely want to do - and I am going to do.”

Former Celtic scout on Van Dijk's weakness

In his own words, Van Dijk is “vocal” and likes to “command the defensive line and have the ball.”

Yet the Celtic scout who brought him to Celtic Park in 2013 has revealed his “biggest problem”.

Neil McGuinness, who now works for the Qatar Football Association, believes Liverpool have signed a terrific player. But he’s warned them about Van Dijk’s tendency to lose focus when the game is seemingly won.

"He's everything you would want if you could create a profile of the ideal central defender," McGuinness told BBC Sport.

"I notice at times that he can switch off when the game is comfortable. That has been his biggest problem.

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"This could be perhaps down to the fact that he knows he has the recovery pace to deal with anything that gets in behind him but it is definitely an area he needs to work on and one that sets apart the great defenders from the good ones.

"The top players can stay fully tuned in for the entire game and if he can work on becoming a lot more complete in his concentration, he will be at that next level."

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