Liverpool signed Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in January 2018 and Gary Neville told Sky Sports his price tag took him by surprise.
The Dutchman has not only been the best centre-back in the Premier League this season but the most consistent performer across all positions.
“It wasn’t the signing itself that surprised me, it was the amount,” Neville told Sky Sports when discussing Liverpool’s £75million move for van Dijk last January.
“I remember when Manchester City signed Kyle Walker for £50m it left me thinking ‘wow that’s incredible’ and the same with Virgil van Dijk.
“100 per cent my player of the year and there’s not anyone else close to him.”
Van Dijk was once again brilliant for Liverpool when Porto visited Anfield on Tuesday evening. Marega, the Liga Nos’ outfit’s danger man, barely troubled the Reds as he was shackled by van Dijk and, to a lesser extent, Dejan Lovren.
What Jurgen Klopp now needs to tell Michael Edwards is to ensure that van Dijk’s wages and contract length are improved to ensure there is no chance he can leave the club anytime soon.
It might seem premature and, yes, contracts don’t hold the same value that they used to but without van Dijk, Liverpool are just a good counter-attacking side but with him the whole outlook in the squad shifts.
According to the Echo, the Dutchman’s Liverpool contract only expires in the summer of 2023 and his wages are already at £180,000 per week but a bumper contract won’t hurt anyone.
Ensuring that van Dijk stays at the club for his peak years is vital.
There isn’t a central defender that is anywhere near as good as him and losing him in the next few years would be detrimental to the club’s chances of winning silverware.
Offering him a minor increase to his wages and the length of his contract won’t cost Liverpool a fortune but will save them millions in the future.