Are you ok with what it would cost to land Virgil Van Dyke?
Obviously there remains some way to go but I'll be made up if this deal comes off as it addresses so many concerns directly: we don't spend big on both wages and fee; we don't take players other big clubs want; we don't get our number one targets; we lack a dominant centre half who suits our game.
Virgil Van Dijk is a top class player without a weakness in his game: pace, aggression, strength, aerial ability, good on the ball - he's got the lot. I know the line is "one player doesn't change a defence" but a fully fit VVD with Hendo in the side ahead of him takes the pressure right off the full backs to be so relentlessly up and down as they can plug those gaps that have been our Achilles heel this season.
That all said, the prospective fee is such that I don't think we could've quibbled if the club had backed out. However, assuming it gets done, this deal is arguably the biggest statement of intent the club has ever made as it would smash our record fee at a time when we are way below the standing in the game we had when we did it repeatedly in the 70s and 80s.
It also represents a huge backing of the manager and his judgement as well as showing that Michael Edwards is climbing/being shoved out of the shadows and putting his neck on the block as he should.
And besides, The Mancs paid £30m for Rio Ferdinand over a decade ago which seemed insane at the time until it dawned on me one day that he was one of the best defenders in the world with an array of medals to prove it.
Assuming we get this deal done (and the ones for Salah and Keita too) the best element of it for me is that it shuts down all the excuses as a club and puts the manager in a position to deliver trophies. He then needs to do so.
I really hope this comes off. I know I'm a fool for getting way ahead of things, but the idea of a Liverpool side markedly strengthened by VVD, Salah, Keita and a new left back, marauding all over teams in that boss new blood Red kit is pretty tantalising.
So get it done Reds - with one proviso: no-one is allowed to give him the shit nickname "Dick".
If nothing else, it’s a massive statement of intent from both the manager and the owners that we mean business this summer. I know we are working in an inflated market and I know we have a sell on clause to contend with, but the money we are talking about here is absolutely crazy. For any centre half.
That’s not to say that I don’t rate Van Dijk because I do, I think he’s a really good defender. He’s quick, he’s tidy on the ball, strong in the air, chips in with goals and he marshals his team mates well – something we have been missing since Carra retired.
There are plenty of positives to signing him, even spending £50m plus means that we are backing the manager and have seen off our more wealthy rivals who have trumped us in the past on several occasions. But I think at that kind of money we need to be saying “thanks but no thanks” and putting our scouts to use elsewhere.
I am one of the Americans’ biggest critics for not spending money on transfers and I can’t level that at them here. But it is a lack of smarts from the club – van Dijk could have been signed for just £13m. We are reactive in the market instead of proactive.
I am also concerned that we are dropping this money on a player who hasn’t played since January. I know he got done in a tackle by that chav Vardy but that’s a long lay-off. That’s largely a secondary concern though as he generally doesn’t miss many matches judging by his past record.
However, I am not opposed to the move because I think he’s a very good player. We will need to make other tweaks to our formation to make his presence worthwhile because a lot of our issues stem from not enough midfield coverage. But if the rest of our summer recruitment is this ambitious then this deal could prove to be a game changer, but I just think the money is too much.
Paying up to £60m for a centre back is City, United or Chelsea behaviour. Liverpool? Nah, we don’t even spend that on the traditionally expensive positions, like centre forward for instance, so you don't expect to see us looking to shell out that kind of dough on a defender.
And I’m ok with that, because I wouldn’t do it either. You don’t need to. You can get quality defenders on the cheap if you know what you’re doing. Most of our best defenders over the years have cost us buttons, and even as recently as last year we were snapping up Matip on a free.
We defo needed a new centre back, but what’s up with going and finding another Matip or a Sami Hyypia, and using the big money on getting a superstar forward player? I don’t think that’s an unreasonable expectation, but here’s the thing - Klopp wants Virgil Van Dijk and doesn’t seem to care how much it will cost to get him.
So if that’s what he wants, then fine. I’ve moaned for years about the penny pinching approach to transfers and the total lack of interest in competing with our rivals for top players. Usually we just walk away and don’t even bother, so this Van Dijk thing is actually pretty exciting, especially as it's being reported he's turned down other offers because he wants to come here.
As long as it doesn’t impact on our ability to bring in the other players we need then I’m not going to complain about whatever we pay for Van Dijk because it's clear now that Klopp is now calling the shots and the days of Michael Edwards and his "computer says no" approach to transfers looks to be over. It's shame it cost us Deli Alli and probably an extra £25m to land Mohamed Salah, but hey ho.
Money aside, he looks like he’s a perfect fit for us. When we played Southampton at their place in the league cup semi, it felt like every ball we put in the box was drawn to him like a magnet. He won everything in the air and seemed to clear every cross. Earlier in the season when we’d played them in the league, twice he was able to beat Mané to a through ball, so the guy can run too. There's a reason everyone wants him, so if we get him then I'll be busting out the Jean Claude dancing gifs.