With the January transfer window rapidly approaching, it was confirmed last week that fierce rivals Liverpool had spent a world record £75million on defender Virgil van Dijk.
Even though the money in football is always increasing, it certainly feels like £75million for the Southampton man is an extreme amount of money, but, you have to pay whatever it takes to land a player that will improve your club.
During his pre-Southampton press conference, Jose Mourinho was asked about the transfer fee and he responded in a classy manner.
“The reality is if they think the player is right for them and they really want the player, they pay this amount or they don’t have the player because that’s the way the market is at this time.” Mourinho told reporters, including ManUtd.com.
“Now you are going to say, Virgil van Dijk [is] the most expensive defender in the history of football. Was he better than [Paolo] Maldini or was he better than [Giuseppe] Bergomi or was he better than [Rio] Ferdinand? You cannot say that. It’s just the way the market is and you pay or you don’t pay. If you pay, obviously you pay a crazy amount of money. But if you don’t pay, you don’t have the player and it’s as simple as that, so no critics at all. It’s just the way it is.”
As the gaffer says, it’s tough to compare Van Dijk to players gone by because he’s his own man. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how he gets on at Anfield in the years to come. Personally, I think he’s a fantastic defender, which is a real shame considering he’s heading to our rivals.
Mourinho knows what it takes to succeed in football these days, and let’s be honest, he’s no stranger when it comes to spending money either. It’s also notoriously tough to buy in the mid-season transfer window because it leaves the selling club with very little opportunity to replace the footballer involved. It pains me to say it, but Liverpool have sealed an astute transfer.
Anyway, onto Southampton; a game that Manchester United simply have to win. It certainly feels as though it’s going to be a challenge to overturn a fifteen point gap to Manchester City, but we just have to keep winning games and see where it takes us.