'Top-class' Van Dijk could become one of the great centre-halves - Liverpool's £75m signing hailed by Gordon

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The Dutch defender is on his way to Anfield in a record-breaking deal and has been backed to reach the very top of the game by an ex-Celtic colleague

Virgil van Dijk’s £75 million move to Liverpool will help him to become “one of the great centre-halves in world football”, says Craig Gordon.

The Netherlands international will become the most expensive defender of all-time on January 1 when he completes a switch to Anfield from Southampton.

A big-money transfer had been mooted for some time, with the 26-year-old heavily linked with leading sides from the Premier League and across Europe.

Van Dijk now has a global platform on which to fulfil his full potential, with a man who once played alongside him at Celtic convinced that his former team-mate is destined to reach the very top.

Hoops goalkeeper Gordon said: “He would be the benchmark for anyone coming through, especially here. When I played with him he was without doubt the best centre-half that I have ever played with.

“He has absolutely everything to go on and become one of the great centre-halves in world football.

Craig Gordon Virgil van Dijk one of the great centre-halves

“I knew when he left here, I was fairly sure that Southampton wouldn't be his club for very long.

“He is a fantastic footballer and I am sure he is going to do an excellent job for Liverpool. He is a top-class defender, everybody will get to see the best of him now he is playing at a top club.”

Gordon added on Liverpool getting value for money from a record-breaking deal: “He is still young. He could have eight or nine years at Liverpool, maybe longer.

“It could well end up being value for money.

“I know it sounds an awful lot of money now but if he is there for 10 years and is the mainstay in that team and keeps everything together and stops them losing goals then it is well worth the money.”

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While being talked up by one prominent figure at Celtic to make a positive impact at Liverpool, another man in Glasgow who knows all about life at Anfield has warned that Van Dijk will have to manage increased expectations.

Former Reds boss Brendan Rodgers said: “It is obviously great for Virgil firstly because he has gone to a brilliant club where every aspect of you as a player is tested, how you cope under pressure and the microscope goes on to him every game he plays.

“But he looks a great talent and he will obviously go on to a great club and hopefully prove that.”

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