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Five Questions Facing Record Signing Van Dijk - Sports - Nairaland

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Five Questions Facing Record Signing Van Dijk by jerupil: 2:37pm On Dec 28, 2017
Virgil van Dijk is set to become the world's most expensive defender after Liverpool and Southampton reached an agreement Wednesday for his January transfer.
Liverpool have long courted the Dutch centre-half and Jurgen Klopp will be delighted to finally land his first-choice transfer target in an attempt improve his much-maligned back four.
ESPN FC assess five questions Van Dijk must answer as he prepares to make his switch to Anfield.
1. Can he operate as a defender in Liverpool's playing style?
It's no coincidence that Liverpool's back four can look exposed at times. It's a drawback to the attacking, high-pressing style that Klopp has implemented since his arrival in Oct. 2015. Speaking in the most recent preseason, 32-year-old Ragnar Klavan spoke about how defending for Klopp was "different" to anything he had ever experienced during his career.
With just a solitary midfield anchor as a shield, Van Dijk can expect to be left isolated and required to deal with numerous one-on-one duels with attackers at Liverpool. It was something Dejan Lovren particularly struggled with when he made the move to Liverpool from Southampton in 2014, albeit under a different manager. Van Dijk will want an easier ride than Lovren had during his start to life on Merseyside.
2. Will he ever be the same player again?
It's worth remembering that Liverpool's most expensive signing is coming off what's probably been the worst spell of his career. His 2016-17 season, which alerted the attention of top clubs around Europe, was ended in January after sustaining a serious ankle injury. Throw into the mix a transfer saga that saw him excluded from Mauricio Pellegrino's set-up in preseason and a disappointing return to first-team action, Van Dijk's past four months have been a struggle, which was best summed up in a disappointing performance in the Saints' 3-0 loss at Liverpool back in November.
But, rather unfairly, that must all be in the past the second Van Dijk's name is on a Liverpool team sheet. Liverpool supporters will expect the elite defender they have long hoped for in 2018, and Van Dijk needs to be ready for the spotlight and attention his price tag and status as the saviour of Liverpool's defence will bring.... <<< read more >>> @ www.galatixnews.com

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