LONDON – Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has urged supporters to “forget about the price tag” for the club's record signing Virgil van Dijk and focus on the qualities of the Dutch international.
Van Dijk will arrive at Anfield from Southampton at the start of next month after the clubs agreed a reported 75 million pound ($101 million) fee that would make him the world's most expensive defender.
The signing of the 26-year-old centre back is expected to offer stability to a Liverpool defensive line that has come in for heavy criticism this season.
“Quality ... That's why we got him, that's why we were interested in him,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“I can imagine people think 'wow' what a number it is. But for me it is not really interesting. We don't make the prices, the market is making the prices. The first thing all Liverpool supporters should forget is the price tag.
“We only talk about the player and what he can bring in; the quality, the mentality, the character.”
Liverpool play two Premier League fixtures in the space of 48 hours when they host Leicester City on Saturday and then travel to Burnley on New Year's Day.
They featured in a similar quickfire double-header during festive period last season, when they beat Manchester City but could only manage a draw against Sunderland.
“You cannot learn from it, you only learn to accept it,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com, referring to the fixture congestion.
“Now the focus is on Leicester. We are prepared for that game, for sure, and then we will see.”
Liverpool are fourth in the league table with 38 points from 20 matches. Leicester are eighth on 27 points.