Done deal | Liverpool sign Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk who will wear the number four shirt.

The 26-year-old will officially join the Merseysiders when the transfer window opens on January 1.

Van Dijk spent two-and-a-half years at Southampton, making 80 appearances, and Sky Sports say he set Liverpool back around £75m this month.

He nearly joined the Reds in the summer before Liverpool were forced into an embarrassing apology to Southampton after allegations of tapping up.

The Netherlands international has been called one of the best defenders in the Premier League due to his commanding presence, outstanding aerial ability and great strength to get the better of his opponents.

Southampton’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on November 18, 2017. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

He made 12 Premier League appearances for the Saints this season, averaging a tackle and interception every 25 minutes. The defender blocked more than a shot-per-game on average and boasted a 91% tackle success rate before leaving.

Liverpool are desperate for a reliable centre-back at the heart of their backline, with Jurgen Klopp’s side having conceded the joint-most goals in the top-seven.

The Merseysiders haven’t been short of options at the back with Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan, but consistency has been a problem all season.

Klopp’s confident that Van Dijk will find his feet at Anfield, saying: “He has to adapt to our style of play, but we are 100 percent sure he will do it. I am very happy (the deal) is finally done,” reports the Telegraph.

 “He is quality. That is why we got him and that is why we were interested in him. We only talk about the player and what he can bring in – his qualities, mentality and character.”

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