LONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 10 – Jurgen Klopp says Sh10.4bn (£75mn) January signing Virgil van Dijk has proved to be even better than he imagined.
Van Dijk returns to former club Southampton on Sunday after quickly settling into life under Klopp, following his record-breaking move to Anfield.
The Dutch centre-half was a long-term target for Liverpool after failing in their bid to land him last summer, but he has been worth the wait for Klopp.
“I’m not surprised that he is really, really fantastic and exactly like what we would have expected,” Klopp said.
“He has all the football tools, he is getting better and better. He was not 100 per cent fit when he arrived here for different reasons but he’s getting better and better. Everything will be even better in a few weeks.
“He is a football playing centre half. That’s what he is. He is good and I’m absolutely happy having him around.”
Klopp believes that van Dijk will get even better next season too, once he comes to grips with the size of his new club.
“It is a completely different way of working here. We can beat Southampton, they can beat us. We play in the same league but everything is different here. Each player will tell you exactly the same,” added the Liverpool boss.
“It’s not only the football thing. Liverpool is an outstanding big club and the boys have to do a lot of things around training, much more than the other clubs but it is all good.
“You have to adapt to all these things and then there is the football. We had much more time to train but it is still not exactly like you would do it in the pre-season.
“That’s the truth. That’s why I said you will see the best Virgil Van Dijk after pre-season.”