Journalist Ian McGarry made some bold claims during the summer transfer window, especially regarding Virgil van Dijk and how a deal to Liverpool would be completed.
He got that one wrong, as Liverpool didn’t put in a bid for the Dutchman despite van Dijk’s transfer request and our desperate need for a central defender.
Jurgen Klopp had made the Dutchman our no.1 target, but our hands were tied in terms of going for him as we’d been reported by Southampton to the Premier League for an illegal approach back in June – and couldn’t risk a transfer ban.
Now, van Dijk has to earn a spot back in the Saints side, but McGarry reckons a January deal is actually possible.
McGarry told the Transfer Window Podcast: “Van Dijk, compared to his fellow rebels in the Premier League Alexis Sanchez and Philippe Coutinho, has one great advantage in that he’s not going to be cup tied for European football in the January window.
“So, I would say of those three he’s got the best prospects of leaving and joining a club in January.
“Liverpool was his first choice.
“I spoke to a close friend of his and Van Dijk definitely believed his deal to Liverpool was all agreed in terms of his personal terms in terms of this transfer window that’s just closed.
“I think the takeover of Southampton Football Club, I say takeover, but the investment in Southampton Football Club had a negative effect from Van Dijk’s point of view.
“They no longer wanted, or needed, the money that they would get from selling him to Liverpool for about £55m.
“Whether that backfires on them in regard to the player’s performance we’ll have to wait and see as he’s not featured yet.
“But I go back to the original point in that Van Dijk has a good chance of moving in January where I would say Sanchez and Coutinho don’t.”
Our defensive performance against Manchester City shows that not targeting a centre-back was probably an error.
Now, we need to use Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan in rotation until January at the earliest.
Perhaps Joe Gomez can stake a claim for a spot…?