Virgil Van Dijk's plan at Anfield today was presumably to show what Liverpool have been missing. Instead, he gave the kind of performance to make Liverpool fans feel deeply secure about their summer transfer dealings. Van Dijk was pursued by Liverpool as a kind of panacea to their chronic defensive ills, in a lengthy transfer saga that swallowed much of the summer. Jurgen Klopp was willing to make him the most expensive defender in world football, only to see Southampton hold firm.
Such a mess did Liverpool make of the negotiations, they ended up being forced to publish a chastening public apology to Southampton, in which they officially withdrew their interest.
They never truly surrendered interest in Van Dijk, however, but ultimately had to put the deal on ice. Not to sign him, or an alternative, looked to be a disastrous decision by Klopp as he looked on ashen-faced at collapses away to Man City and Spurs.
At Anfield today, however, he was part of a desperately poor Southampton who failed to land a glove on Liverpool in a 3-0 defeat. Van Dijk did not cover himself in glory, either, especially on the second goal, as he decided to pay homage to Dejan Lovren. He was inexplicably drawn out of the defensive line toward the ball, leaving oceans of room for Mo Salah in behind to tuck home the crucial second goal.
Van Dijk looks like a typical Liverpool-defender on that second goal....out of position
— Jan Aage Fjørtoft 🏳️🌈 🇳🇴 💛💙 (@JanAageFjortoft) November 18, 2017