Interview with BT Sport Presenter Matt Smith - LFC Transfer Dealings

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What do you make of Van Dijk? Is he good enough for Liverpool and should Liverpool be targeting that calibre of player?

 

“I think Van Dijk is a fine modern style centre back. Good in the air, at both ends, quick and comfortable in possession. He looked a leader at Southampton and a good on pitch talker, something LFC arguably lack.”

 

Southampton reportedly want as much as £70m for Van Dijk – would it be money well spent?

 

“Value in terms of prices has become a pointless discussion really, but he’s clearly worth pursuing as these type of defenders are hard to find. I am not saying he’s the next Baresi or Ruud Krol, but VVD is a fine defender, and clearly wants to play for Klopp and in front of the Kop.”

 

How does Van Dijk compare to other centre backs in the league?

 

“Van Dijk is similar in my eyes to a younger Vincent Kompany.”

 

Do you think Van Dijk will be a Liverpool player before the window closes?

 

“I think Van Dijk will leave Southampton this summer…”

 

The Naby Keita situation looks like something that will rumble on right until the very end of the transfer window. In your opinion, why are Liverpool so keen to add Keita to their ranks?

 

“A deal for Naby Keita has similar elements to Van Dijk – a player with excellent modern attributes, right age, and fits what LFC don’t have, but also a very reluctant selling club in a summer of crazy prices. Klopp clearly favours a relentless work ethic added to passing and a football brain in midfield. Keita, from what limited games I have seen, has those attributes. He fits, and again seems keen to make the move.”

 

Should Liverpool go all out for Naby Keita? Should they make an offer that RB Leipzig simply cannot refuse?

 

“I don’t know if there is an offer RBL cannot refuse, as they are so well supported financially. The deal will happen if they feel it’s no longer in their interest to keep the player.”

 

What are the alternatives in case Liverpool cannot sign Keita or Van Dijk? Will Liverpool’s transfer window be judged based on the success or failure of these two players?

 

“Alternatives are difficult as not many players fit the above criteria and many top managers, including Klopp, would rather wait than buy to plug a gap or add numbers. There are CBs like Davinson Sanchez at Ajax, or Emre Mor at Dortmund. Midfielders like Nainggolan at Roma or Renato Sanches, but I don’t think they are quite as good, or suitable, as VVD or Keita.”

 

What do you make of new Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson? Can he push for a starting spot against Milner?

 

“Andrew Robertson looks a good addition to me. Pacy, natural left foot, good delivery, young and smart. Expect him to push Milner this season.”

 

Thanks for your time Matt.

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