News Live Scores
Liverpool

Van Dijk reveals role Henderson played in £75m Liverpool transfer

12:16 GMT+3 05/08/2019
Virgil van Dijk Jordan Henderson Liverpool 2018-19
The Dutch defender admits that the club captain at Anfield helped to convince him, along with a loyal fan base, that Merseyside was his best move

Virgil van Dijk has revealed that Jordan Henderson “painted the picture” of Liverpool which helped to convince him that a £75 million ($91m) move to Anfield was his best choice.

A big-money transfer to Merseyside had been mooted for the Dutch defender several months before it was finally pushed through.

Jurgen Klopp put a record-breaking deal in place with Southampton, allowing a commanding presence to embrace a new challenge that he has made the most of.

Liverpool were not his only suitors though when a switch was being contemplated, with there several options for him to consider.

Van Dijk was, however, left in no doubt as to where he should be heading after speaking with Reds skipper Henderson – with whom he shares an agent.

“He painted the picture for me and made it easy to join,” the 28-year-old centre-half told ESPN FC.

Liverpool’s loyal fan base also swayed Van Dijk towards the north west after endless rounds of speculation regarding his future on the south coast.

He added: “That summer when I made the decision until I actually joined the club, I had so many Liverpool fans coming up to me wherever I went - everywhere - telling me how much they wanted me to sign for the club.

“That gave me a bit of a feeling of how big Liverpool is and how passionate the supporters are.

“When you look at the Barcelona game [in last season’s Champions League semi-finals], the scenes from the parade in the city and you watch videos of them celebrating all over the world, it says everything. It's unbelievable to be involved in something so special.

“I think the minimum you can do at such a beautiful and big club is to give everything you've got and have no regrets when you leave the pitch because you know you did everything in your power to win the game. The fans appreciate that.

“That's the mentality we all have in the squad; we will work every yard of the pitch and work for each other: it's our base.

“No one can blame us for not trying, for not having ambition because we give everything.”

That desire delivered European glory for Liverpool in 2018-19, having missed out on the Premier League title, and Van Dijk is impressed with the giant strides he has helped the Reds to take over the course of the last 18 months.

“The progress since I've been here has surprised me a little, but at the same time, it hasn't been surprising because if you look at the team, we have a fantastic squad on and off the pitch,” he said.

“It's not just the talent we have: everyone gets along, we want to fight for each other, we want to develop together and that's something that comes down from the manager and how he is with his staff. The senior players here are welcoming, set the tone in terms of how we treat each other and what we should demand from ourselves.

“We want to improve, we won't get comfortable. That's a big credit to the manager and everyone that works at Melwood: they always remind us there's no time to feel like it's all good. That we have to strive to be better than the last game, even if it was an incredible performance. There are always things we can still learn to perfect.”