Van Dijk ignoring critics after record-breaking £75m Liverpool move

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Alex Livesey
The Netherlands international has become the Reds' record signing and is aware that his every move is now going to be dissected in minute detail

Virgil van Dijk is ignoring those quick to criticise him after a £75 million move to Liverpool, with adjustment still being made to new surroundings.

The Netherlands international became the Reds’ record signing when completing a switch from Southampton at the opening of the winter transfer window.

A big fee has brought with it big expectation, with Liverpool having acquired the 26-year-old in an effort to plug their leaky defence.

That has not happened so far, with Van Dijk still lacking match sharpness after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury, but the Dutchman has learned to turn a deaf ear to detractors.

He told reporters on a settling-in process at Anfield and those eager to knock him down: “I can’t do anything about that. Obviously, there are so many eyes on me but I am just keeping my head down and playing.

“Everybody can say what they want but I am working hard every day and I am getting back to where I need to be with the help of everyone here. I am just doing my thing.

“I have been out for eight months – last January until September really – and I didn’t play at Premier League level.

“It is not easy to come back, especially when I have made such a big step as now with all the eyes on me and they look at every small detail.

“Other people will talk and have their opinions. There is nothing I can do about that. You are always going to be judged but it is not like it is something really strange at the moment.

“I know because I made such a big step right now, for a lot of money, everything is going to be analysed.

Virgil van Dijk Liverpool ignoring critics

“No-one is going to look at the good things that you do. Everybody is going to watch the bad things and that is how it is. But I will discuss it with the people who want to make me better, who can make me better, that is the manager and the players around me.

“If they think it is right that is good then that is the way forward.”

Van Dijk remains confident that his best form will return once he adjusts to the demands of a new manager in Jurgen Klopp and a markedly different playing style to that he has been accustomed to.

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He added: “That is pretty clear – the football we play, the pressing, the different options with players it is totally different.

“You need time to get used to everything but I am working on it every day together with the team.

“I am talking with the manager and everyone who can help me out. I want to improve and get the maximum out of myself and that is what I am going to do.”

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