Liverpool want Virgil van Dijk and Virgil van Dijk wants Liverpool. There’s no secret here, no mystery, no code to unscramble. Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp spent all summer pining after him and he in turn attempted to force through a move, even if in the end Southampton managed to hold on to him.
Since then, he’s picked Liverpool to go on a deep run in Europe, called Daniel Sturridge the league’s best striker when he’s fit and on form (we feel the same way, Virgil, but the “fit and on form part,” you know?), doing his best to remind the world that he’d really rather be playing for Klopp at Anfield right now.
“I’ve got no regrets,” he told the press in Holland after he joined up with the Dutch national team this week and was asked if he wishes he hadn’t tried to force through a move to Liverpool. “I felt I was ready to go a step up even if eventually Southampton decided they did not want to let me go.”
Staying at Southampton clearly wasn’t the ideal outcome for Van Dijk, who needs a strong season ahead of the 2018 World Cup to ensure a starting place, but a strong season at St. Mary’s would likely still be enough for that and the improved deal he signed with them last year is at least paying him well.
There’s no such silver lining and rationalising for Liverpool, though, who have continued to struggle to keep out the goals and have seen their top two centre halves, Jöel Matip and Dejan Lovren, both already struggle with a few minor knocks that have meant spending time on the sidelines.
Liverpool have the third worst goals against in all of the Premier League, and over the past month they have struggled to consistently convert at the other end, too. Van Dijk would have at least helped with one of those, and failing to land him—or a suitable Plan B—remains the failure of the summer.
There’s always January, though. At least if Liverpool can at least sort out the scoring goals side of things and keep pace with the top four in England while advancing in the Champions League—something that right now doesn’t seem entirely certain—so that they remain a desirable landing spot for Van Dijk
“I’m a professional and I’ll give everything I can to the club now,” the centre half added. “Halfway through the season, though, maybe we can see what’s possible.”