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Former Manchester United Assistant Says Club Passed On Virgil Van Dijk

Former Manchester United Assistant Says Club Passed On Virgil Van Dijk
By Gary Connaughton

Despite having an incredibly well rounded squad, it's probably fair to say Liverpool would not have experienced as much success over the last couple of years if not for the signing of Virgil van Dijk.

The Dutchman arrived on Merseyside with a massive price tag, but everyone immediately forgot about the £75million handed over to Southampton. The transfer now looks like a major bargain.

Considering the level van Dijk now operates at, it is somewhat of a mystery how he still had not played for a major English club only a few months short of his 27th birthday.

Liverpool were the ones that took the plunge, while Manchester City and Chelsea were also credited with an interest around that time. It appears Manchester United were also keeping an eye on him, but ultimately decided against making a move.

Rene Meulensteen, a former assistant under Alex Ferguson, revealed to Stadium Astro that the club had decided against making a move for van Dijk during his time at Southampton. He also said that Kalidou Kouliabaly, a player United have been linked with an £80million move for, is not in the same class as the Liverpool man:

To be fairly honest, I also do know in the time before, when van Dijk was still at Southampton, there were questions of Manchester United bringing van Dijk in.

They never really took the punt but Liverpool did because they could see the potential that he had but also the speed van Dijk had, the strength and everything.

Those are some of the aspects you would look at a really good strong central defender, can he play with some space at the back?

Everyone's talking about Koulibaly, bringing him in, but he could go to four or five clubs so it's not a given that he'll come.

For £80 million ($101m), a central defender, if you compare that with Van Dijk's performance for Liverpool last season and this season, then I think Van Dijk is quite a bit ahead.

Meulensteen, who believes United overpaid by as much as £30million for Harry Maguire, should be careful about spending a similar amount on a centre back once again this summer.

SEE ALSO: Manchester United Can't Contend For Titles With David De Gea In Goal

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