After a dramatically public and protracted six-month transfer saga, things suddenly began to move very quickly for Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool on Wednesday, culminating in the Dutchman being announced as the Reds’ first January signing of 2018. Reportedly spurred on by interest from runaway league leaders Manchester City, the Anfield outfit moved on the groundwork shiftily laid down in the summer and were able to close the deal before it could hit any snags. The man himself is pretty happy about it.
"Delighted and honoured to become a Liverpool FC player,” communicated the 25-year old through his official Instagram account. "Today is a proud day for me and my family as I join one of the biggest clubs in world football!
"I can't wait to pull on the famous red shirt for the first time in front of the Kop and will give everything I have to try and help this great club achieve something special in the years to come."
At a mouth-watering world record fee for a defender, and cashing in a hefty £180.000 per week paycheck, you better be delighted, Virgil! Just about everybody associated with the Merseyside club are anticipating the former Celtic man’s debut just as eagerly van Dijk himself, and the defender took the time to give thanks to club that gave him the opportunity to prove himself in the league.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Les Reed, the board, manager, players, fans and everyone at Southampton.
"I will always be indebted to the club for giving me the opportunity to play in the Premier League and despite a difficult last few months I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saints and have made friends for life at the club. Thank you for everything.”
That ‘difficult time’ is one Southampton are familiar with in regards to transfer dealings with Liverpool, and fans and staff at coastal club undoubtedly had flashbacks to Dejan Lovren’s exit three years ago. Hopefully, everybody involved are able to put it behind them, allowing van Dijk to get on with his career, Liverpool to instantly improve the quality of the defense, and Southampton to begin rebuilding with the big sack of sterling they just received.
"Thank you for all the messages of support. I'm now looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting started. #YNWA,” concluded van Dijk’s message. Hashtag YNWA to you too, Virgil, and welcome!