Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk ready for hostile reception on Southampton return

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk passes the ball during the English Premier League football match against Swansea City
Image: Virgil van Dijk is ready to receive a frosty reception upon his Southampton return

Virgil van Dijk is prepared for a hostile reception when he returns to former club Southampton with Liverpool this weekend.

The Dutchman became the world's most expensive defender in January after the Reds paid a fee in the region of £75m for his services.

Van Dijk had put in a transfer request last summer in hope of engineering a move to Merseyside, while tension was caused between the two clubs leading Liverpool to issue a public apology for their pursuit of the player.

After finally sealing his move, Van Dijk is ready for a frosty reception at St Mary's during the Super Sunday showdown, live on Sky Sports.

Virgil van Dijk
Image: The Dutchman left Saints in January to become the world's most expensive defender

"Maybe they can boo the whole game. You can't do anything about it," Van Dijk said.

"Obviously it'll be nice to see the players and the friends I have there but, for me, it is going to be about one thing only and that is to win the game."

Get LFCTV half price for 12 months

Get LFCTV half price for 12 months

Liverpool fans, get closer to the club you love with half price LFCTV. Just £3.50 a month for 12 months.

The 26-year-old is still adapting to life on Merseyside and has experienced the highs of scoring a derby goal on his debut with the lows of giving away a last-minute penalty against Tottenham.

Also See:

"With the football we play, the pressing, the different options with players, it is totally different here," Van Dijk added. "So you need time to get used to everything but I am working on it every day together with the team.

"The most important thing is what happens at Melwood and what happens here with the people who care about the team... other people around, fans of other clubs, pundits, they can have their opinions, but it doesn't really bother me.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool celebrates as he scores their second goal during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match betwe
Image: Van Dijk scored on his debut for the Reds but admits he is still adapting

"I am talking with the manager and everyone who can help me out. I want to improve and get the maximum out of myself and that is what I am going to do."

Liverpool are third in the Premier League with 51 points from 26 games while Southampton sit 15th on 26 points.

Super 6 £1m jackpot

Super 6 £1m jackpot

Simply predict six correct scores to win Jeff's £1 million. Enter your selections for free here.

Around Sky