Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool FC signing Virgil van Dijk’s debut was a fairytale

The Liverpool FC manager reflects on Virgil van Dijk's debut winner in a 2-1 victory over Everton in the FA Cup third round

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp Photo: New Balance

Jurgen Klopp hailed Virgil van Dijk’s debut as a “fairytale” after the Liverpool FC defender scored on his first Anfield appearance to seal a 2-1 win against Everton in the FA Cup third round.

The Netherlands international was signed in a club record £75m deal from Premier League rivals Southampton last week after Liverpool FC made the 26-year-old the most expensive defender in the world.

Van Dijk didn’t feature in Liverpool FC’s 2-1 win at Burnley on New Year’s Day but his long wait to run out in the red of the Merseyside outfit came to an end on Friday night at Anfield.

James Milner broke the deadlock from the penalty spot in the first half before Iceland international Gylfi Sigurdsson levelled after the break.

But January signing Van Dijk had the final say with a powerful header past Jordan Pickford to score on his Liverpool FC debut and seal their place in the FA Cup fourth round draw.

Speaking at his post-match media conference after Van Dijk’s magical winner for the Reds, Klopp revelled in a rare football fairytale.

“Yes, nice one! A fairytale in a world with not a lot of fairytales anymore, so I think something like that is quite special,” Klopp said.

“It was a difficult decision to make, to be honest, because, to be 100 per cent honest, the first plan was not to start him tonight but then Dejan and Raggy played a lot of games in the last few weeks, so I changed my mind this morning. And it helped!

“They [had] little muscle issues, but could have played with a little higher risk than usual. I made the decision this morning that Virgil will start – and obviously it was a good idea in the end because the whole game was good.”

Liverpool FC will welcome Premier League leaders Manchester City to Anfield in their next Premier League game on Sunday 14 January.

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