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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

'Delight and honour' for Virgil van Dijk at making Liverpool move

Southampton defender will join the Merseyside club on January 1 in £75m deal

Southampton's Virgil van Dijk is Liverpool bound. Craig Brough / Action Images via Reuters
Southampton's Virgil van Dijk is Liverpool bound. Craig Brough / Action Images via Reuters

Virgil van Dijk is ready to prove his worth by helping Liverpool win more trophies after Southampton agreed to sell the centre-back in a world-record £75 million (Dh369.6m) deal.

The move of the Holland international from January 1 was confirmed by both clubs on Wednesday evening and the transfer is understood to be the highest price paid ever for a defender.

Van Dijk soon issued a personal statement on his Twitter page, posing with a Liverpool shirt, to express his 'delight and honour' to be joining "one of the biggest clubs in world football."

The deal will eclipse the £54m spent by Manchester City to sign England full-back Kyle Walker from Tottenham Hotspur during the summer and also sees a protracted saga reach its end.

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However now the transfer is eventually concluded, Van Dijk must now live up to the weight of expectation.

"I can't wait to pull on the famous red shirt for the first time in front of the Kop and will give everything I have to try and help this great club achieve something special in the years to come," the Dutchman wrote on his social media accounts.

Van Dijk had handed in a transfer request before the start of the new season, making it clear he wanted Southampton to take up the interest from Liverpool.

Liverpool, meanwhile, issued a public apology in June for "any misunderstanding" following suggestions of an improper approach for the centre-back.

The 26-year-old trained on his own before being reintegrated into Southampton's first-team squad as he recovered from an ankle injury. The defender made his first appearance of the season as a late substitute in the 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on September 16.

Van Dijk, though, now has his focus firmly on helping the Merseyside team achieve their targets over the closing months of the campaign - with Jurgen Klopp's side currently fourth in the Premier League following the 5-0 trashing of bottom club Swansea City on Tuesday.

A post shared by Virgil van Dijk (@virgilvandijk) on

The Dutchman joined Southampton during September 2015 from Celtic, who are set to receive a hefty seven-figure sell-on fee as part of the Liverpool deal which the south-coast club said "will set a new world-record for a defender".

Van Dijk added in his Twitter post that he would "always be indebted" to Southampton for giving him the chance of Premier League football.

"Despite a difficult last few months, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saints and have made friends for life at the club. Thank you for everything," he wrote.

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