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Van Dijk vows 'more to come' after justifying £75m fee Liverpool paid for him

10:46 PM GMT+8 30/05/2019
Virgil Van Dijk Liverpool
The Netherlands international defender has starred for the Reds since signing in the winter of 2018, but he believes he can get even better

Virgil van Dijk says there is “still more to come” from him despite being a stunning success story at Liverpool on the back of a £75 million ($95m) transfer.

Eyebrows were raised when the Reds made the Dutchman the most expensive defender in world football.

A big-money deal took him to Anfield from Southampton during the winter transfer window of 2018.

His first season on Merseyside delivered a Champions League final spot, while the second has him heading back to that stage after falling agonisingly short in a Premier League title bid.

Van Dijk has also been named PFA Player of the Year and cemented a standing among the global elite.

He could be considered to have exceeded expectations, but the Netherlands international says he can get even better, telling talkSPORT: “I think I have improved on every aspect of my game. I’ve had a lot of experience over the last year.

“I think as a central defender you grow as a player.

“There’s still more to come. There’s always things to improve, you can’t be satisfied with what you have.

“You have to keep working. I will definitely look at it when I’m having my holiday.”

Van Dijk added on how he deals with any criticism that comes his way: “I know exactly when I make a mistake and need to do something better.

“You have pundits and fans from other teams who will say loads of things and it goes past me. That’s life.

“Football is a game. It’s something I love to do. But there are so many things in life that are more important.

“If I keep that in mind, I’m fine. I’ve learned that over the years. I’m turning 28 in the summer. If it doesn’t work this year, I go again next year.”

Working with Jurgen Klopp has helped to bring the best out of Van Dijk, with the commanding centre-half crediting his manager with sparking a drive for continuous improvement.

“I have a good relationship with him because he just tells you the truth and I will tell him the truth. That’s something I really appreciate,” Van Dijk said of the German tactician.

“Sometimes when there is a mistake I did, that no one else sees, he will tell me.

“For example, away at Bayern Munich, they scored the equaliser from a ball behind Andy Robertson.

“Normally, I’m there to protect him, but I didn’t. It looked like Andy Robertson was in trouble, so they scored and nobody said it was me. But at half-time, the manager came in and shouted at me.

“I think he’s definitely up there with the best coaches I’ve had, [Ronald] Koeman was also a very important factor in my career and still is.”