Robbie Fowler is concerned that Liverpool may continue to find it tough to deal with Southampton which could see van Dijk join another Premier League club.
Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has admitted he would be thrilled to see Virgil van Dijk donning Liverpool red this coming season but warned his former club that it won’t be easy even with the player having handed in a transfer request.
The Dutch international recently handed in the written request, expressing his desire to leave the club after Southampton imposed disciplinary action docking him two weeks wages and supposedly leaked conversations to the press that were meant to fall only on private ears.
Alongside this the club claimed van Dijk had refused to train or participate in matches, something the player argues was their decision, not his.
Despite this formal request to leave the club, however, Fowler believes Liverpool will still find it tough to secure the defender’s signature as they are set to face significant competition for him.
“It was obvious that Liverpool were in for him but I’m not sure what will happen now,” he told the Liverpool ECHO.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if another couple of clubs came in for him, the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. I don’t think it’s plain sailing for Liverpool. In the early days it was us who were courting him and it looked like he was going to come but it’s been quiet for a good few weeks and the transfer request might prove a catalyst for others to enter the fray.
“I think he’s a great player and we’re trying to compete on a number of fronts this season including the Champions League so it’s important that the squad is right and we strengthen.
“He’d be a fantastic addition but until there comes a point that the club come out and say they’ve got him, I think it’s a little bit raw talking about him given what happened with him and Liverpool earlier in the summer.”
When asked to give his opinion on Liverpool’s business this summer, the former striker revealed that he, like many other Reds supporters, is frustrated at the lack of progress and signings made over the window. The club have added three new signings to their ranks but only Mohamed Salah is seen as a true first-team walk in.
“You can never rest on your laurels and you always have to try and strengthen,” Fowler said.
“Chelsea won the league last season but they’ve gone out and bought. Liverpool have aspirations of being the best in the country so it’s important that you don’t stand still and continue to grow because if you don’t, others will.
“You can get as far as Christmas and it’s still hard to gauge where you’ll end up, never mind in August.
“Liverpool’s progression for the past couple of years has been brilliant and you want them to progress and speaking as a fan here you want them to sign a few more players and be that little bit stronger.
“Last year we beat the better teams but struggled against the supposed lesser teams so if we can get that right then we can be a match for anyone.”