Former Liverpool centre-forward Stan Collymore reckons the £75million fee paid to Southampton for defender Virgil van Dijk is “absolutely obscene” The Reds kicked off New Year in style with a world record defender swoop for Van Dijk. The Dutch international, 26, has put pen to paper on a lucrative five-year deal at Anfield.
Van Dijk had been linked with a move to Liverpool all summer but completed his move when the January transfer window opened. But Collymore thinks the massive fees being agreed between Liverpool and Southampton will harm the fans.
“The £75million Liverpool have paid for Virgil van Dijk is absolutely obscene,” Collymore was quoted by the Mirror.
“What the Reds have done is buy a good, but nowhere near proven, Premier League defender and, in a sane market, that sort of figure would possibly get you the greatest player of all time.
“What always surprises me about these deals, too, is this idea that it doesn’t matter to supporters what clubs pay because it isn’t the fans’ money they are spending.
“It doesn’t matter if you support a Premier League team or a non-League team, if you buy a subscription or Premier League-affiliated merchandise such as the FIFA game then you are contributing.
“And while ever transfer fees and wages go up, you will be expected to contribute even more.”
When the official announcement was made by both the clubs regarding the Dutch defender’s transfer ahead of the winter transfer window, Collymore was staggered at the fee.
‘Even the biggest clubs will be pricing themselves out of the market soon,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘Absolute madness.’
Too much money burning too many big holes in too many pockets.
Even the biggest clubs will be pricing themselves out of the market soon.
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) December 27, 2017
Former Manchester United player Gary Neville had also expressed his shock at the defender’s price tag.
“It’s a lot of money isn’t it,” he told Sky Sports, as reported by Metro.
“I’ve not seen a lot of Southampton recently but I’m not sure he’s playing that well. He’s a good defender. They’ll need to get him back to his best for that money. ‘I’m not surprised by the transfer but that’s an incredible amount of money.”
However, he added that paying no attention to the money, Van Dijk is an ideal addition to Liverpool’s squad:
“Liverpool need defenders and that’s the way the market is.”
Van Dijk could make his Reds debut when we return to action on Friday to take on Merseyside rivals Everton in the third round of FA Cup.