Highlights of Virgil van Dijk's performance for Southampton vs Liverpool in January 2017

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It’s been more than a year since Virgil van Dijk signed for Liverpool and it’s fair to say that absolutely nobody is talking about the £75 million transfer fee anymore.

When the Reds splashed a world record amount for a defender on the Southampton man back in January 2018, many believed they were seriously overpaying.

But those critics have certainly been silenced over the past 12 months.

Van Dijk has arrived at Anfield and completely transformed their defence.

This season, Jurgen Klopp’s side have conceded just 13 goals in their 23 league games this season with Van Dijk playing a pivotal role in that record.

However, Klopp was desperate to bring Van Dijk to the club six months before he actually arrived.

Liverpool appeared to have struck a deal with Southampton in the summer of 2017 before the Saints reported the Merseyside club to the Premier League for their apparent illegal approach.

Liverpool v Southampton - Premier League

It meant Liverpool had to withdraw their interest and wait patiently until January for another chance to sign him.

Klopp could have panicked and just settled for an alternative centre-back that summer. After all, Liverpool were pretty desperate.

But the fact that he was willing to wait until the new year for Van Dijk just demonstrated how much he wanted him.

But what had Klopp seen of Van Dijk that made him convinced he was the perfect signing?

Well, a video has emerged that claims to show ‘the match that made Liverpool buy Virgil van Dijk.’

Liverpool FC v Everton FC - Premier League

The game in question is Southampton vs Liverpool back in January 2017 - one year before Van Dijk joined the Reds.

It was the League Cup semi-final first-leg, which Southampton won 1-0.

And Van Dijk was absolutely magnificent, picking up the Man of the Match award.

WATCH: VAN DIJK'S PERFORMANCE VS LIVERPOOL IN 2017

Take a look at his performance in front of the onlooking Klopp:

Obviously, it would have taken a lot more than a 90-minute to convince Liverpool to part with £75 million on a defender.

But there can be no denying that Van Dijk’s performance that night would definitely have caught Klopp’s eye and convinced him that this was the centre-back he needed.

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Back to the present day, and Van Dijk is a serious doubt for Liverpool's crucial Premier League clash against Leicester on Wednesday night.

The Dutchman has been ill since returning from the club's warm-weather break in Dubai and may not recover in time.

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