Gary Neville credits 27-year-old with transforming Liverpool FC

The Man United legend believes Virgil van Dijk has helped to take Liverpool FC to another level

Man United legend Gary Neville Photo: Sky Sports / Screen grab

Gary Neville believes Liverpool FC have “grown enormously” since the addition of Virgil van Dijk earlier this year.

The Merseyside outfit spent a club record fee on Van Dijk in the January transfer window to sign the Netherlands international in a £75m deal from Premier League rivals Southampton.

Liverpool FC had to make Van Dijk the most expensive defender in the world to secure the 27-year-old’s signature amid reported interest from Chelsea FC and Manchester City.

However, the Reds’ club record signing has justified his price tag with his imperious performances at the back despite having a number of different centre-half partners.

Van Dijk helped Liverpool FC to reach the Champions League final before a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the final, although Loris Karius’ hapless performances handed los Blancos two goals.

The Reds finished in the top four to secure a Champions League spot despite conceding 38 times in 38 games in the Premier League.

Klopp has looked to address their defensive problems at the back with the signing of Alisson Becker in a £67m deal from AS Roma in the summer transfer window.

Liverpool FC have only conceded four times in 12 games in the Premier League and Van Dijk has helped to transform the Reds into one of the best defensive teams in England.

Former Manchester United defender Neville believes Liverpool FC are a different side since the Dutch defender’s move to Anfield.

“Liverpool have grown enormously in this last 12 to 18 months,” Neville told his Sky Sports podcast on Sunday.

“The biggest change has been the defensive difference and the introduction of Van Dijk.

“The front three we’ve known about for 18 months, the introduction of Van Dijk has meant they look a formidable defensive team. With him there, they’ve got someone that can anchor the defence.”

Liverpool FC are in second place in the Premier League table and two points adrift of defending champions Manchester City in top spot.

The Reds have only dropped points in stalemates with Chelsea FC, Manchester City and Arsenal in the current campaign.

Klopp’s side will take on Watford, Everton, Burnley and Bournemouth in their next four games in the Premier League after the international break.

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