Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Virgil van Dijk has welcomed Harry Maguire to the world record club

A little over 18 months ago, the Dutchman became the most expensive defender in football history when Liverpool paid £75m for him. But on Monday, that fee was eclipsed - as van Dijk always knew it would be.

Manchester United have thrust Maguire into the glare of a searing spotlight with an £80m fee for his services.

And while that perhaps inspires just a tiny hint of relief in van Dijk, he believes his fellow defender must embrace the pressure.

“I wish him well,” the Anfield centre half said. “Good luck to him. I can’t say anything about the (record) fee because there was always going to be a time when it was going to change.

“That’s the market. He doesn’t have any influence on that - the price comes with pressure but it doesn’t change too much because you always have pressure at big clubs like Man United.

“Every club is doing their business in the market and every club has their own strategy. He doesn’t have any influence on that at all.”

What Maguire does have though, is some measure of control on how he handles being examined under a totally different set of rules, just because of the size of his record-breaking fee.

His advice to Maguire is to not carry the weight of the fee on his shoulders and try to justify it, but instead revel in the opportunity it brings.

“Just focus on doing what you love to do and play your best game,” he said to the new United defender.

“Get your qualities out of the pitch, enjoy your game and don’t think about the other things.


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