Georginio Wijnaldum has admitted that he did little to convince van Dijk to move to Liverpool other than to tell him to “follow his heart”.
On the 1st of January, Liverpool completed the £75 million purchase of Virgil van Dijk from Southampton and he was an instant success, making his debut in the Merseyside derby, scoring the winner to send the Reds into the fourth round of the FA Cup.
To say that he got off on the right foot would be something of an understatement but national teammate Georginio Wijnaldum is not prepared to say he is responsible for the big man joining.
Gini told the Liverpool ECHO that he told van Dijk to “follow his heart” and not much else.
Wijnaldum said: “We spoke a few times. I told him how the club was and everything.
“I told him whatever decision you make just follow your heart. You have to deal with that. You do what you want to do. Liverpool is a great club.”
While I personally feel that was a risky way for Wijnaldum to go about convincing van Dijk that Liverpool was the club for him, he got the job done and deserves credit all the same.
Gini has hailed the calming effect that van Dijk has had on the Reds’ defence since coming in this month, praising his leadership skills in particular.
“He is an easy-going, relaxed person who gets along with everyone. He is not someone who only speaks with a few players,” Wijnaldum said.
“He always tries to learn, and even though he is a leader he knows he can still get better. Despite the amount of money spent on him and the pressure. Which is a good thing.
“I didn’t even know he was that calm.”