Virgil van Dijk offers advice to Harry Maguire on being the most expensive defender in the world

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Virgil van Dijk’s reign as the most expensive defender in football history lasted little over a year-and-a-half.

The Liverpool centre-back has handed the baton on to Harry Maguire, who joined Manchester United on Sunday in a deal worth a whopping £80 million.

That’s £5m more than the Reds paid Southampton for Van Dijk in January 2018.

The Netherlands international has gone on to justify his price tag, transforming Liverpool’s defence with his quality and leadership.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping that Maguire can have the same impact at Old Trafford.

The England international’s fee has sparked plenty of debate.

Is he really worthy of being considered the most expensive defender in the world?

The fact that he was only statistically the 14th best centre-back in the Premier League last season suggests not.

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Van Dijk's message to Maguire

But Maguire has received a message of support about dealing with the pressure that comes with his £80m price tag from none other than Van Dijk.

Van Dijk believes that the 26-year-old shouldn’t carry the weight of the fee on his shoulders, but instead embrace the opportunity and enjoy playing for such a big club.

“I wish him well,” the Anfield centre half said, per the Mirror. “Good luck to him. I can’t say anything about the (record) fee because there was always going to be a time when it was going to change.

“That’s the market. He doesn’t have any influence on that - the price comes with pressure but it doesn’t change too much because you always have pressure at big clubs like Man United.

“Every club is doing their business in the market and every club has their own strategy. He doesn’t have any influence on that at all.”

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Van Dijk coped extremely well with the pressure. In fact, he’s taken his game to another level since joining Liverpool, being crowned the PFA Player of the Year last season.

And the former Celtic and Southampton man has told Maguire not to be distracted by the outside noise.

“Just focus on doing what you love to do and play your best game,” he added.

“Get your qualities out of the pitch, enjoy your game and don’t think about the other things.

“It is not easy to completely shut off all the pressure. Personally, I like to put things in perspective.

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“Quite a lot of things are more important than playing football and what we do, we are blessed. We can do what we love to do and also to play for Liverpool - they are such a big club.

"You need to enjoy it but the pressure will always be there.”

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