Ex-Manchester United Man Reveals That Tony Pulis Turned Down £10m Virgil Van Dijk Deal
Former Liverpool defensive stalwart Jamie Carragher has been paying tribute to the new cornerstone of the Reds’ backline in a Monday Night Football appearance on Sky Sports this evening.
While assessing the quality of the Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk, who captained the club for the first time last month, he said: “we’ve been saying or a while he’s the best defender in the Premier League… I actually think he’s one of the best players in the league.”
Perhaps more surprisingly, another member of the Monday night duty, the former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher, was quick to agree with Carragher on the merits of the Dutch defender.
“No doubt. I think he’s made a massive difference to Liverpool. He’s a monster; so big, powerful. He cruises through games, he’s top class,” said the Scot.
Fletcher thinks so much of Van Dijk, he revealed, that he recommended him as a signing to manager Tony Pulis during his time at West Brom.
“Obviously with my Scottish connections, I watched him play for Celtic …. I said ‘go and get Van Dijk’, before he went to Southampton for £10 or £11m.”
But times were tight in the Midlands and there wasn’t the cash, or the will, to get a deal done.
“West Brom felt it was a little bit too much. There wasn’t much money. You wouldn’t call them [Van Dijk and Jonny Evans] typical Pulis centre-halves.”
Mind you, according to Roy Hodgson, the same thing happened at Crystal Palace. All so easy to say in hindsight!