Before Liverpool signed Virgil van Dijk, the Reds were an exciting attacking outfit with a lot of unfulfilled potential.
A front four of Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino was right up there with the very best in the world as evidenced by the former’s record-breaking move to Barcelona.
However, Jurgen Klopp’s side was constantly hamstrung by their need to win by two or three or even four goals because their backline was simply awful.
Losing 4-1 to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in October 2017 seemed to be the final straw as Dejan Lovren was hauled off at half-time.
Virgil van Dijk was signed in January 2018 and instantly cemented himself as the best in the Premier League and a year later, the best in the world.
Not only did his own performances take Liverpool from a top-four side to winning the Champions League and Premier League but he also elevated those around him, including Lovren.
Without him, Liverpool have been a distinctly average side. The hope is that with him back in the team next season, they will be elevated back to the best defensive unit in the country and things can go back to the way they were in the 2019/209 season.
With van Dijk at the back and Jordan Henderson in midfield, Liverpool were untouchable.
Now, Football Insider reports that van Dijk is set to be offered a £50million contract which will see him earn over £200,000/week across seven years with Liverpool looking to tie him down for the rest of his career.
The Dutchman chose Anfield over the Etihad and Stamford Bridge and has already reached the pinnacle of club football by winning both the Premier League and the Champions League but after a year out, he’ll be hungry for more.
If his ACL rupture hasn’t harmed his agility and mobility, there is no doubt that his return to the Liverpool starting XI will have the same impact it did when he joined the club in 2018.
By earning over £200,000/week, van Dijk would become the highest-paid player at the club ahead of Mohamed Salah.
There’s no denying he deserves it and with his ACL almost fully recovered, Liverpool fans can now get excited about his return to the side next season.
His passing and Rolls Royce-esque style of play is something we’ve all missed terribly but with this cursed season almost over, the 2021/22 season is practically around the corner and the Euros will mean the summer off-season will fly by.
Signing van Dijk to a 7-year contract will guarantee that Liverpool will be successful for years to come.
At least, that’s my opinion. If he can avoid idiotic challenges from reckless Everton goalies, there’s no doubting he’ll end his career at Liverpool with more than just one Premier League title and one Champions League winner’s medal.