Virgil van Dijk a leader, says Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum
By Alys Bowen
Last Updated: 01/01/18 8:55am
Georginio Wijnaldum says his future Liverpool team-mate Virgil van Dijk is a natural leader.
Van Dijk will complete a £75m world-record move to Liverpool from Southampton on January 1 and Wijnaldum insists the defender will be a strong addition to the squad.
"I was really happy when I spoke with him on the phone, I told him I was happy he was going to come and join us," Wijnaldum said.
"And now there will be a little bit of Dutch support in the changing room.
"I think outside of the pitch he is a normal person, he's easy going and relaxed and I think everyone in the club will like him.
"On the pitch, from what I saw in the national team he is a leader, trying to help everyone, help with the defensive line, so I think he will help us in the team."
Van Dijk has made 12 appearances for the Saints this season after recovering from a long-term knee injury, but Jurgen Klopp insists the 26-year-old will bring a high standard of play to his squad.
"Quality. That's why we got him, that's why we were interested in him. It's quite difficult at the moment because technically he's still a Southampton player." Klopp told Sky Sports.
"We only talk about the player and what he can bring in; the quality, the mentality, the character. That is why we are really happy about it."
The Netherlands international submitted a transfer request to Liverpool in the summer, however, Southampton complained the Merseyside club had made an illegal approach for the centre-back.