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Former Chelsea midfielder, Gus Poyet, believes that Virgil van Dijk deserves to be nominated for the PFA Player of the season award. The Uruguayan also revealed that he was close to signing him whilst in charge of Brighton & Hove Albion in 2013.
In case you didn't know...
A lot of people questioned Liverpool's decision to pay £75 million to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in the January transfer window of 2018. However, the Dutchman is in brilliant form since his move, and the massive transfer fee the Reds paid to sign him looks like a bargain now.
The 27-year-old transformed Liverpool's shaky defence into one of the best in Europe and the Reds have conceded just 15 goals in 29 league games thus far this season.
The heart of the matter
Speaking to Goal, Gus Poyet backs Virgil van Dijk's nomination for the PFA Player of the Year accolade.
"I agree with a few pundits that he should be a big candidate as Premier League Player of the Year this year. We don’t usually like to name defenders but I think it’s a good time to put him in there. He’s been outstanding."
He also reveals that he was close to signing him at Brighton and Hove Albion.
"I went to Groningen to watch him,". "We flew to Holland to watch a game and he was absolutely outstanding. It was so easy for him.
"It was after our first season in the Championship, he would have cost us €3 million and we couldn’t afford him. We had just moved to the Amex and we had a lot of expenses and it was not possible. We were very close.
"When he went to Celtic I wasn’t surprised. When he went to Southampton and then to Liverpool it was a bit of a shock but he always had the potential. After the day in Groningen – even after half an hour of watching him – me and my assistant, Mauricio Taricco, thought it would be incredible if we were able to sign him for Brighton."
Liverpool will play Burnley next in the league before squaring up against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena for the second leg of the Champions League round-of-16 tie on March 14.Published 09 Mar 2019, 14:57 IST