English Premiership

No illegal contact from Liverpool before move, insists Van Dijk

2018-03-01 20:47
Virgil van Dijk (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk admits he had to take his game to the next level to adjust to the demanding style of football played under manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Dutchman completed his much-anticipated transfer from Southampton in January and has quickly become a regular starter for the Reds, starting four of their last five Premier League games.

However, the 26-year-old revealed that it has been a difficult transition due to the increased demand on players' workrate at Anfield.

"I am getting used to how we play," Van Dijk told BBC Sport. "The intensity of our game is a lot higher than what I was used to.

"Every day here is tough. We work very hard, run a lot and there is a big difference. I needed to step up my game, especially in the beginning."

Van Dijk was rumoured to have been contacted illegally by Liverpool representitives prior to his move to Melwood.

"People don't know what really happened," he said. "I kept my head down and kept playing. I was out for eight months and was just happy to play again.

"I just switched on again after the transfer window in the summer. I didn't think about anything until I got a phone call from the Southampton board."

Liverpool are in a great position to challenge for second place (given Manchester City win the league) and Van Dijk is eager to go on and achieve even greater success.

"I came here to achieve everything possible," added the commanding centre-half.

"I made the choice to come here base on everything. I love the fans, the atmosphere in the stadium and at away games.

"The quality we have in our team is unbelievable. I am proud and happy to be here.

"Klopp is very good and an amazing guy as well. A lot of the attributes he has makes us achieve good things in the future."

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