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Optimus trousers posted this 01 January 2018

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Manchester United star Phil Jones frustrated after Southampton stalemate

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Just two weeks ago Jose Mourinho’s men were sat in second place in the table and appeared to be the best of the rest behind runaway leaders Manchester City. But a dismal run of three points from a possible nine has seen them drop to third, with a chasing pack including Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal closing in fast behind them. United have lost their killer instinct in front of goal and have now drawn three league games on the spin for the first time since Mourinho took charge. Southampton went into this clash with one win in 11 outings, dropped goalkeeper Fraser Forster and had a striker in Shane Long without a goal to his name all season - but still United couldn’t beat them. In fact, United’s David De Gea was the busier keeper and the boos that rang around Old Trafford at the final whistle could not be ignored.

“It’s frustrating for us, frustrating for the fans of course and everyone involved, but there’s no point sitting here and sulking about it” At one stage this season United looked like the only side capable of giving City a run for their money. But Jones admits United are now locked in a battle just to secure a top four finish and Champions League qualification at best. The England ace insists United are looking over their shoulders and said: “That’s obvious if you look at the table. “But we have to concentrate on ourselves. It sounds so cliched, but we need to look after each other and stick together, which is what we will do. “We need to keep going and keep battling. It’s frustrating for us, frustrating for the fans of course and everyone involved, but there’s no point sitting here and sulking about it. We haven’t got beat, but it feels like a defeat.

“It’s tough to take. It’s not as if we’re not creating the chances, but unfortunately at the moment we can’t put them away. We need to stick together and keep going, that’s all we can do.” United’s cause wasn’t helped by striker Romelu Lukaku being carried off with concussion inside 15 minutes and will now miss the next two games, including today’s trip to former club Everton. Jones admits the fact neighbours City have been producing record-breaking football right under their noses increases the pressure at Old Trafford. “It won’t help,” he said. “It’s difficult, we’re going through a patch where we’re picking up a few draws and not winning games like we should be. “But we’ll get there. In another few weeks’ time we might be standing here saying we’re in a very controlled position again, but we’ve got to make sure we do that rather than just say it.”

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Optimus trousers posted this 01 January 2018

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Fans' verdicts: Man Utd players deserve blame for rot

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Another weekend of Premier League football was filled with thrills, spills and no shortage of controversy.

Whether your team had a good result or a bad one to remember the festive season by, there was plenty to assess ahead of the turn of the New Year for supporters across the country.

Sportsmail's fan panel have chimed in with their thoughts after the round of fixtures.

A much needed win lifted Bournemouth out of the bottom three. It was a strong team performance with Jordan Pickford made to work hard to keep the score down.

Although Callum Wilson missed an early one-on-one, Ryan Fraser was on top form along with Jordan Ibe and Benik Afobe. It’s pleasing to see Bournemouth really go looking for goals again and the crowd certainly enjoyed Fraser’s late winner.

However, another injury to Josh King is not what Eddie Howe needed.

And so the unbeaten run comes to an end, which was expected when you consider the complete lack of any attacking option would become unravelled soon.

Playing three defensive midfielders has never, ever worked for us. What is the harm in giving Klaassen a go? I understand three months ago we was in a horrendous position but we have players who can genuinely create attacking play. All three managers have all reverted back to ‘hoof’ balls. With the links to players such as Tosun coming in January, can Allardyce actually produce attacking football?

I felt that Chelsea had played within themselves in what has felt like being stuck in second gear this season so far.

The players clicked into first gear on Saturday and delivered a much better performance, inspired by Willian. They blew a poor Stoke City side away with the added bonus of Danny Drinkwater starting and scoring.

It’s always nice to finish the year on a high especially when we also see Jose Mourinho and his Manchester United side drop more points in order to leapfrog them into second place behind Manchester City.

We now need to build on this performance at the Emirates against Arsenal on Wednesday.

Mark Hughes gave up on the fixture before kick-off, making several changes and resting players for what he obviously considers a more important, and winnable, New Year’s Day game against Newcastle.

The defeat was thus inevitable though the feeble manner of our surrender remained unacceptable. This was as hopeless as hopeless gets.

It was also yet another thumping to add to all the others and we remain way out on our own in terms of the most goals conceded. Stoke looked like a team which could well be relegated come May.

A lacklustre, tired performance and a sluggish 0-0. The heavy December schedule showed in Town’s below-par performance, with key players underperforming all over the pitch.

Burnley were well organised and will feel unlucky to have not taken all three points, as Lossl kept Town in the game on numerous occasions.

The game will have highlighted the areas Wagner needs to address in the transfer market, with a lack of quality in midfield, but the fight from Town to preserve a point and another clean sheet is a positive. One more point closer to safety…

It’s coming to something when Burnley fans are returning home from an away game disappointed at only picking up a point from a 0-0 draw. That’s the negative from today’s trip to Huddersfield but the positive comes with the performance.

We were head and shoulders better than Huddersfield who, one early effort apart, didn’t trouble our goalkeeper Nick Pope. Our only problems today were not finishing at least one of the chances that came our way and being lumbered with referee Paul Tierney who turned down the most blatant of penalties.

But what a way for Burnley to go into the new year - seventh in the Premier League with 34 points.

Liverpool have had more impressive wins this year but few have been more satisfying. The Reds usually win big or they draw, so to win a close one felt good, especially given Leicester’s excessive time wasting.

After the worst possible start Liverpool created a host of chances, most of which were squandered by Mo Salah.

The Egyptian must have found his shooting boots at half time though as he was unstoppable after the break. He’s been unstoppable all season.

What a player he is.

It was always going to be a big ask to get anything at Anfield but when Vardy struck after just three minutes there was a glimmer of hope.

But, as expected, it was one-way traffic in the second half and we did well to keep the score to 2-1.

I am not a fan of this squad rotation and I would have at least kept Vardy on.

Two Championship clubs operating in the Premier League is the best way to describe this.

Neither side boast a great deal of genuine quality, nor were they convincing in front of goal despite a number of chances.

Neither will be confident of survival. Rafa Benitez is in desperate need of funds. The feel-good factor of promotion is long gone and Newcastle are crying out for some inspiration.

We were dogged, diligent and defended well, and I’ll take a point away all day.

However, I felt that when the locals got restless if we had pushed higher up the park and taken them on, we could have had all three.

Mind you, Mat Ryan kept us in the game twice, so mustn’t grumble.

New Years Day is huge but I could do without the early KO!

Swansea were almost certainly the worst team we have seen at Vicarage Road this season. But instead of taking advantage of this and building on an early lead, Watford decided to roll over and hand Carlos Carvahal’s new side what will surely be their easiest win of the season.

Inexcusably, we were time wasting from the hour mark, dropping deeper and deeper by the minute. We were deservedly punished with two late goals. Both looked suspiciously offside but, even if they were, our lack of ambition and defensive mindset meant we deserved the loss.

With Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool all coming up in January, we desperately needed the three points to keep us within touching distance of the other relegation rivals.

Thankfully, Swansea somehow conjured up a timely victory thanks to a very late surge at Vicarage Road. The game itself was slow and uneventful, both sides lacking in attacking quality and in truth neither team deserved to win.

However, all three substitutes Oliver McBurnie, Luciano Narsingh and Nathan Dyer made a difference in the second-half and it was Ayew and Narsingh who bagged late goals to send the three points back to South Wales.

It’s not a bad start to Carlos Carvalhal’s tenure - but there’s still a huge amount do be done as the performance for 85 minutes was far from convincing.

Manchester United were atrocious against Southampton. It is worrying for United supporters that the team keeps failing to create.

We were devoid of creativity and there can be no excuses with Paul Pogba in the team. Something has to change.

Jose Mourinho is being slated but the players themselves need to massively up their game, too.

It’s hard to believe that this is the same side that shipped five goals on Boxing Day.

With an injury-ridden squad we managed to pull together as a collective with some fine individual performances at the back.

An encouraging showing from our two 23-year-old center backs - Wesley Hoedt and Jack Stephens - was a fantastic positive in the wake of Van Dijk’s departure.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg also showed himself to be composed, calculated and disciplined at the heart of the midfield.

But the bottom line is that the true value of this result will only be shown if we beat Palace this Tuesday.

Little old Palace managed to stop the City machine and spoil their record.

It’s actually a disappointment not to take all three points considering the late penalty miss which is remarkable considering everyone had predicted the Eagles to be on the end of a big loss.

Credit to Hodgson for setting out his side with some fresh legs all able to slot in and do an impressive job on the champions elect. Great to end the year on a high.

Disappointing to finally drop points, especially against such a limited side, but the potential injuries to Jesus and De Bruyne are more damaging than the draw.

Our overall play was just a little too flat and one-paced, and we miss David Silva’s guile and control. Walker was superb in nullifying Zaha with his pace and power. He’s proven to be a very shrewd acquisition.

What a result for the Baggies, especially against the 12 men of Arsenal.

Mike Dean was by far Arsenal’s best performer always in the thick of the action. Albion were sound defensively and effective on the counter attack.

I’m still confident that we can stay up, as long as we stop bringing on James McClean! We would have never got that result under Pulis.

Only one man was capable of making the most bland Arsenal game of the year interesting, and sadly, he was wearing black. Mike Dean made a shocking decision to kill Arsenal’s hopes of three points, incorrectly penalising Calum Chambers for a handball late on.

Dean, a consistent embarrassment, once again showed why VAR is a much needed innovation in the game. The hope of football futurists is that the new tech will eventually make attention-seeking show-pony officials redundant.

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Optimus trousers posted this 01 January 2018

Sourced from Daily Mail article

Which players could move in January in Premier League?

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The start of January means diets, resolutions and, most importantly, the beginning of the winter transfer window.

Every Premier League side will have their own ideas of what they will do over the first month of 2018, whether that means incomings or outgoings as they tackle the second half of the season.

Sportsmail's Simon Jones has put together a guide to what each top flight club might do in January.

Who could go? Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott (loan), Olivier Giroud, Mohamed Elneny (loan)

Who could go? Lewis Grabban, Benik Afobe, Harry Arter

Who could go? Jamie Murphy

Who could go? Nahki Wells

Who could go? Kenedy, Baba Rahman, David Luiz, Michy Batshuayi

Who could go? Jason Puncheon, Patrick van Aanholt, Scott Dann, Jordon Mutch

Who could go? Oumar Niasse, Mo Besic, Ross Barkley, Kevin Mirallas

Who could go? None

Who could go? Islam Slimani, Ahmed Musa, Leonardo Ulloa, Riyad Mahrez

Who could go? Divock Origi, Philippe Coutinho, Marko Grujic (loan), Harry Wilson (loan), Danny Ings (loan), Ben Woodburn (loan), Ovie Ejaria (loan), Lazar Markovic

Who could go? None

Who could go? Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Matteo Darmian

Who could go? Aleksandar Mitrovic, Jonjo Shelvey, Jack Colback

Who could go? Manolo Gabbiadini, Shane Long

Who could go? Charlie Adam, Glen Johnson, Jese Rodriguez

Who could go? Alfie Mawson, Ki Sung Yueng

Who could go? Michel Vorm, Danny Rose, Georges-Kevin N'Koudou

Who could go? Etienne Capoue, Troy Deeney

Who could go? Jonny Evans, Jake Livermore

Who could go? Diafra Sakho, Andre Ayew, Andy Carroll

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PhilippineSaint posted this 01 January 2018

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Optimus trousers posted this 01 January 2018

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Summary of non-mainstream articles: 01/01/2018 08:55:44

Man Utd's Young banned three matches over elbowing Tadic NEWSTRAITSTIMES

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Optimus trousers posted this 01 January 2018

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Optimus trousers posted this 01 January 2018

Sourced from Sky Sports article

What each Premier League team needs in the January transfer window

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The January transfer window is now open but what does each Premier League side need?

Liverpool have set a significant early marker in signing Virgil van Dijk for a record fee for a defender of £75m, but what other business will be done?

Charlie Nicholas, Paul Merson, Phil Thompson and Matt Le Tissier ponder potential reinforcement for each club this winter window...

Charlie says: I don't think much has changed from the summer in that there are a few players Arsene Wenger needs to move on. The key for me is unloading all of the players who are not doing the business to freshen up the squad.

Top of that list is Alexis Sanchez. Just move him on and end this farce. With that money, the top of the list of positions is at least one centre-back - two ideally - but that's not realistic in this window, so one top centre-back. I'm also interested in us getting a right-back to push Hector Bellerin, with Carl Jenkinson, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers also on the list of players I would move on.

It has been so poor defensively for four, five seasons and a defensive-minded midfielder would really help us out. I don't bring Steven N'Zonzi into that party, I'd be more interested in somebody like Abdoulaye Doucouré, who could play a deeper role quite nicely for us.

I also think Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott would want out so we would need cover in those attacking areas and I would consider Wilfried Zaha and would have him ahead of Riyad Mahrez.

Merse says: It is difficult to add more firepower, because Glenn Murray has done well, and so has Pascal Gross from midfield who has scored big goals too. If you bring someone in, will it upset that chemistry?

And if Brighton are going to buy a centre-forward, they're probably going to pay five, six or seven million. I think you need to spend far more than that now. You will struggle to find a Premier League striker who will score you 15 goals for that money.

I think it's more a case of keeping the harmony at Brighton - if they repeat their first six months of the season they'll stay up - but I'm sure if opportunities arise, Chris Hughton could take one or two.

Merse says: Bournemouth rarely buy from outside of the Premier League. I really think they need a proper holding midfielder to sit in front of a back four that has been together for a long, long time, bar Nathan Ake.

I think they're a bit too open with players running at that defence. It's great for the neutral to watch, but not for Bournemouth fans as they linger around the bottom of the Premier League.

They've been linked with Mohamed Elneny, which isn't a bad shout. He's not good enough for Arsenal, in my opinion, but I think would be a good signing for Bournemouth.

Charlie says: Should Sean Dyche tinker with this team? Yes, of course. Robbie Brady is out for a while and I think he probably needs another centre-back with the replacements to Ben Mee and James Tarkowski shown to be limited.

Whenever I see their line-up come through I wonder about the quality of their bench, so what they need is numbers. They've got plenty of options up front but other than that they probably need two players with versatility. There's obviously not a great deal to worry about but just a couple of additions to keep the regulars on their toes.

Thommo says: They're a fine team but I think if you scratch beneath that main 11 there's not a lot there to come through. Antonio Conte needs strengthening in all areas of his team, with David Luiz out of favour.

They are another side who were probably looking to entice Virgil van Dijk, so Conte will probably be questioning why Liverpool were able to outbid themselves with such an outlay and they may feel disappointed they missed out there. I think that will upset the manager and the fans as they don't want to be left behind.

Charlie says: The first thing is to decide whether they are going to keep hold of Wilfried Zaha. He's their go-to man right now. I'd like to have him at Arsenal but the Palace fans will obviously want to keep him.

Can Roy Hodgson really keep him? Yes he can, he's got the experience to convince the lad to give them until the summer, time to get a replacement and then let him go.

The area they need to address is a back up centre-forward to Christian Benteke. It is unacceptable to just have one striker so there's too much reliability on Benteke and Zaha, especially with Andros Townsend only turning up one in four games.

Then they probably also need more quality for a top-class goalkeeper, especially with Julian Speroni being called upon, while I'm not convinced Martin Kelly looks particularly comfortable at right-back.

Merse says: I think they need a forward. I do like Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but it's really hard to work that line week in, week out, without getting too many chances to score. I would say they need a centre-forward to take the workload off him, but after that, I'm not sure Everton will spend a fortune. I'm not certain whether the board will let Sam go out and sign a flurry of players when he's only on an 18-month contract. I'm not certain he'll even be there at the end of this season, I think there's a possibility he could be paid off at the end of the season and then they bring someone else in.

I'd forgotten about Ross Barkley, as many have. I'm a big fan of his, and he's in the wilderness, and may need to get a move quickly. I thought Sam might like him, but I guess he's got so many of those type of players.

Le Tiss says: Huddersfield need a centre-forward I think. I know they've got Steve Mounie and Laurent Depoitre but I think they have scored less than Southampton!

Their defence has been pretty consistent so far this season. Then they could also do with more goals from midfield. Tom Ince has only got one goal this season, the same as Kachunga and Van La Parra, who you'd also be expecting a bit more from, so a No 10 who is going to chip in with a few more goals behind the striker would certainly help their cause.

Thommo says: I think they're in a healthier position with Claude Puel doing well, but they've got worries over their transfer policy. The players they bought in last season has left them with a lot of players who have faltered and need moving out, so I could see some major transfer business and it being a revolving door.

The main XI have been better but then there's Riyad Mahrez, who seems to have hit a purple patch just before the transfer window, so you wonder whether that's for the team or his own interests. They could bring in a lot of money, which they need to strengthen the squad with some more consistent performers.

Thommo says: I've said all along, I don't think Virgil van Dijk is going to answer all of our problems. He's not an organiser, he's not a shouter and screamer, he's more in the realms of a Alan Hansen, Sami Hyypia, Jamie Carragher or myself.

So I still think in the January or the summer another centre-back, a real aggressor, is required. I don't think we should put too much pressure on Van Dijk to resolve it and the goalkeeping situation still needs to be looked at.

Liverpool's net spend has not been high since Jurgen Klopp has been at the club and while it will raise the questions as to what will happen with Philippe Coutinho, especially with the Naby Keita deal agreed, the finances area is very strong at Anfield.

Charlie says: They simply don't need additions. I know Vincent Kompany has come off injured early again but John Stones is on the verge of coming back. Eliaquim Mangala isn't really up to the task but how many top class centre-backs did Barcelona have when Pep Guardiola was winning everything?

If there is one position then that would be it but I would think they would be interested in adding some cover with a younger player who can come in during the summer, because I don't think he'll be able to get the quality required to help them now. So it is nice and easy, just keep rolling on and keep enjoying the adventure!

Merse says: Jose Mourinho said after the Burnley game that Man Utd had not spent as much as Man City, but he tends to get his business done very early in the summer. As soon as the season finishes, he's in there - bang, smash, wallop, gets his players and then goes on holiday before working on his team.

It's a difficult one. Do Man Utd go out and panic-buy now? Come the summer, if Man City and Man Utd go up against each other for bit targets, there's only one winner at the moment.

It's an interesting one, because I actually don't think Man Utd are a shoo-in for top four.

Le Tiss says: I think they need a centre-forward as Joselu hasn't really done it and Dwight Gayle is a bit hit and miss, and then, like a few sides, they need more contributions from midfield. Their top goalscorers have three goals after 20 games, which is just shocking.

Then a top-drawer goalkeeper would help, no disrespect to Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow. If Rafael Benitez gets those reinforcements he needs then you would back him to keep them in the Premier League but they are in trouble otherwise.

Le Tiss says: Well Southampton clearly need a centre-forward and I would say we probably need one or two players for that spot in behind the striker to inject some creativity.

I think the money from selling Virgil van Dijk will be invested in the attack because we've got Wesley Hoedt, who was brought in knowing Van Dijk was going, and then Jack Stephens and Maya Yoshida are also options at centre-back.

The fans will certainly appreciate a couple of decent forwards coming in to make them more creative and positive.

Charlie says: I was surprised at Mark Hughes' comments at the start of the season suggesting this was his strongest group. He's been under pressure again but handled it quite well and they've got too much quality to be involved in a relegation battle.

I think Ryan Shawcross seems like he's starting to break down so a replacement is probably required for him, while Bruno Martins-Indi and Kevin Wimmer haven't really been up for the job. A more natural right-back would help them as well.

They've spent a lot of money on their midfield but Xherdan Shaqiri is inconsistent and Ibrahim Afellay always seems to be injured, so they need a bit more cover in midfield. Saido Berahino has been a nightmare so they need a replacement for him, while they could do with somebody to play off the left of the striker.

If I were Mark Hughes I'd be asking for more funds as it feels like they're just trying to get through this season. The crowd are getting frustrated, looking at Burnley and asking why they're not doing that after the money they've spent over the last couple of seasons.

Thommo says: The managerial appointment of Carlos Carvalhal was a strange one. I've been a big admirer of him and think he's just had a few bad months and you wonder where it all went wrong.

But all of the sudden he's into the Premier League at a club and he's got a huge task on. This Swansea side just feels like it has lost its soul from the team which were passing the ball with authority. They've got weaknesses at the back, no creativity and a toothless strike force, so he's got a massive job on his hands, even with that last-gasp win against Watford.

Le Tiss says: I'm not sure they need to much to be fair. I just think they need to get Victor Wanyama and Toby Alderweireld fit and then they are sorted as a really strong defensive force again.

It's difficult to bring in another top-quality striker when you only play one up top because Mauricio Pochettino isn't going to drop Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son is now contributing with more goals.

Merse says: I just think they've hit a bit of a brick wall. I like Richarlison, but this is a difficult league and can catch up with teams who start very well. I always say, when you haven't got top, top drawer players, you'll get those three or four 4/10 performances for every one 8/10 or 9/10 performance.

It's so important they beat Leicester, because I think they could have ended up as one of those teams on a glass mountain with moccasin slippers on, unable to stop sliding. They may have panic-bought in January at that point.

But now they've beaten Leicester, I think they'll be OK. I don't think they'll be going into January with a lot of targets, and will look at loans. I can't see them going out and buying a player for over £10m.

Le Tiss says: I like Ben Foster, who is a good goalkeeper, and they've got decent centre-backs, but they tend to play centre-backs at right-back so they could do with a natural in that position.

Like most sides, they could do with a decent striker, with Salomon Rondon being their top goalscorer with three goals, so that will be Alan Pardew's priority.

Le Tiss says: I would think they need another centre-back. On their day their centre-backs can do a job but Winston Reid hasn't progressed over the last two seasons and Jose Fonte and James Collins are getting on a bit.

They've got a lot of forwards who are decent on their day but they need a bit more creativity from midfield given Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio haven't really been delivering this season.

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Optimus trousers posted this 01 January 2018

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Sourced from Daily Mail article

Virgil van Dijk poses in a Liverpool shirt for the first time

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Virgil van Dijk has worn a Liverpool shirt for the first time after completing his £75m move from Southampton on Monday.

The Reds splashed out a record-breaking deal for the Dutch defender in December after going close to securing his signature in the summer.

The 26-year-old will not be able to play against Burnley on New Year's Day but could make his debut in the FA Cup third round clash with Everton.

His record-breaking move to Liverpool was finalised on Wednesday, and he told the club website: 'I am happy to be here and I can't wait to get started.

'I think the most important thing is the size of the club, the culture of the club, the players, the manager and obviously the fans, who make the club this special.

'With the history at the club and everything around it – even the training ground and stuff – it is just a perfect, perfect match for me, and a perfect match for my family as well.

Van Dijk was at Anfield on Saturday to watch Liverpool's 2-1 win over Leicester, with Mohamed Salah scoring twice in a comeback victory.

'I think it'll be something special,' he said. 'I think Anfield is a very special stadium and it is my home right now as well.

'I am just looking forward to being on the pitch, especially as a [home] player at the stadium. It's going to be nice, especially the evening games and the European nights.

'I hope to win trophies. Every player wants to win trophies and with this squad we have and the progress the club is making, I think we are very close to it.

'Obviously we still need to do it and we will see what the future brings.'

Manager Jurgen Klopp said in the week: 'He has to adapt to our style of play. It is completely different but we are 100 per cent sure he will do it. I am happy it is finally done but there is no rush.

'I can imagine people will think, 'Wow, what a number it is' but for me the fee is not really interesting. We do not make the price, the market makes the price and the first thing all Liverpool supporters should forget quite soon is the price.

'We only talk about the player and what he can bring in, his qualities, mentality and character. That is why we are really happy about it.'

Klopp admitted Van Dijk's fitness issues were a concern as he only played 16 times for Southampton in 2017, including 12 this season following Liverpool's failed attempt to sign him in August.

'It was probably not his best half of the season at Southampton,' Klopp said. 'He was injured and then we know about the things that happened last summer.'

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Optimus trousers posted this 01 January 2018

Sourced from Mirror.co.uk article

Virgil van Dijk unveiled by Liverpool as £75million deal becomes official

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World's most expensive defender Virgil van Dijk is officially a Liverpool player after the January transfer window opened.

Van Dijk has been unveiled by the Reds in an extensive photo shoot which shows the delighted former Southampton and Celtic star in Liverpool's range of kits.

The Dutchman completed the deal last week but it couldn't been finalised until the window was declared open.

Van Dijk watched on from the director's box at Anfield as his new teammates beat Leicester 2-1 on Saturday.

He was at Melwood on Sunday surveying his new home and posed as he signed on the dotted line in pictures released this morning.

“I am happy to be here and I can’t wait to get started," he told Liverpoolfc.com.

“I think the most important thing is the size of the club, the culture of the club, the players, the manager and obviously the fans, who make the club this special.

“With the history at the club and everything around it – even the training ground and stuff – it is just a perfect, perfect match for me, and a perfect match for my family as well.”

He will be available for the FA Cup clash with Everton on January 5 but is likely to have to wait to make his debut.

Liverpool's next clash after the Merseyside derby is against Manchester City on January 14.

“I think it’ll be something special,” he said. “I think Anfield is a very special stadium and it is my home right now as well.

“I am just looking forward to being on the pitch, especially as a [home] player at the stadium. It’s going to be nice, especially the evening games and the European nights.”

After completing the switch, he said: "I can’t wait to pull on the famous red shirt for the first time in front of the Kop.

"I will give everything I have to try and help this great club achieve something special in the years to come.

"I’m now looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting started."

Jurgen Klopp has dismissed suggestions Van Dijk's arrival will lead to Philippe Coutinho leaving the club.

There have been suggestions Barcelona will make another move for the Brazilian when the transfer window opens.

Van Dijk is intent on winning silverware at the club.

He said: “I hope to win trophies. Every player wants to win trophies and with this squad we have and the progress the club is making, I think we are very close to it.

“Obviously we still need to do it and we will see what the future brings.”

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