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“Brendan didn’t fancy him” – John Collins reveals how this in-form Liverpool star missed out on Anfield earlier

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Virgil van Dijk Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring against Wolverhampton Wanderers

Liverpool were offered the chance to sign Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk three years before he became a Red, according to one of his former coaches.

The 27-year-old was a Celtic star before he moved to Southampton. The Dutchman then signed for Liverpool at the start of 2018 for a record £75m (h/t Liverpool Echo) and has been the best centre-back in the Premier League this season.

However, former Celtic assistant John Collins told former Scotland teammate and Liverpool great Gary McAllister about Van Dijk.

The Scottish midfielder was part of Brendan Rodgers’ coaching staff at Liverpool but the Reds manager didn’t fancy Van Dijk.

The former Celtic man also told Bein Sports about the interest from Arsenal and why they rejected the defender (h/t Liverpool Echo):

“Gary McAllister was the assistant to Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool and I told him I hope you’re going to come and take Virgil.

Virgil van Dijk in training

“But Brendan didn’t fancy him and didn’t think he was better than what he already had. Arsenal’s chief scout [Steve Rowley] thought he was too nonchalant.”

Collins added that even with his nonchalance, the Dutch defender had a lot of valuable traits and he would have been a bargain.

“He would’ve cost around £12m – every team watched him regularly but the worry was he was showing it against Scottish players but you could tell he was strong, powerful and a well balanced player.”

Read more: Jurgen Klopp urges his Liverpool side to improve in the second half of the season and keep going

Transfers are always tricky to work out as some turn out to be fantastic while others become duds. Van Dijk might have come to the Liverpool party late but he is doing his bit as we lead the Premier League.