Due to the transfer from Harry Maguire to Manchester United, Virgil van Dijk can no longer call himself the most expensive defender in the world, although he is not sorry about that. The Orange International warns the brand new purchase of 'The Red Devils' for the extra pressure that the high price tag entails.
Van Dijk made the transfer from Southampton to Liverpool for about 84 million euros in January 2018 and has since been the most expensive defender in the world, but United changed that on Monday. The English top club took over Maguire for almost 87 million euros from Leicester City.
"I knew that there would come a time when I would no longer be the most expensive defender in the world," says Van Dijk in conversation with The Guardian . "That is part of the transfer market. I wish Harry every success. The price also requires extra pressure, but you will have to deal with that at a top club like Manchester United."
The 28-year-old Van Dijk did not seem to be bothered by the pressure that his transfer fee entailed. The former FC Groningen player immediately forced a base place at Liverpool and is now indispensable from the team of manager Jürgen Klopp.
Van Dijk won the Champions League last season with Liverpool and also had personal success. The 26-fold international of the Dutch national team was named Player of the Year by the English players' union (PFA).
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Harry Maguire. (Photo: Twitter / Manchester United)
"Not easy to shake off all the pressure"
Van Dijk therefore has advice for his successor Maguire, who has signed a six-year contract with United. "Show the best of yourself in the field, enjoy the game and don't think of all the other things. Although it is not easy to shake off all the pressure", confessed the second most expensive defender in the world
"Personally, I like to put things in perspective. There are quite a few things in this world that are more important than football. Moreover, it is a privilege that we can do this as work. You have to enjoy it, although the pressure will always be present."
For United, Maguire is only the third acquisition in this transfer period. The 26-year-old defender previously played in England - alongside Leicester City - for Sheffield United, Hull City and Wigan Athletic.
The Premier League is starting next weekend. Liverpool will face Norwich City in-house on Friday and Manchester United will play competitor Chelsea on Old Trafford on Sunday. Chances are that Maguire will debut in that match.
Most expensive defenders in the world
- 1. Harry Maguire - 87 million euros
- 2. Virgil van Dijk - 84 million euros
- 3. Lucas Hérnandez - 80 million euros
- 4. Matthijs de Ligt - 75 million euros
- 5. Aymeric Laporte - 65 million euros