Van Dijk gets special praises from Klopp after dream debut - FCNaija

FA Cup By: Ayodeji Tunde | 06/01/2018

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has specially commended  Virgil van Dijk for a "fairytale" debut after the defender scored the winner in a 2-1 FA Cup victory over Everton Friday.

Van Dijk who is now the world's most expensive defender was signed for a reported £75million in January and he headed in a dramatic 84th-minute winner on debut at Anfield.

Klopp lauded the Netherlands international, revealing he only decided to hand Van Dijk his debut on game day.

"Nice one [Van Dijk's debut]. A fairytale in a world with not a lot of fairytales anymore, so I think something like that is quite special," he told a news conference.

"It was a difficult decision to make. To be 100 per cent honest, the first plan was not to start him but then Dejan [Lovren] and Raggy [Ragnar Klavan] played a lot of games in the last few weeks, so I changed my mind this morning [Friday]. And it helped.

"They [had] little muscle issues, but could have played with a little higher risk than usual.

"I made the decision this morning that Virgil will start – and obviously it was a good idea in the end because the whole game was good."

James Milner's first-half penalty was cancelled out by Gylfi Sigurdsson before Van Dijk headed in an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain corner.

Despite Van Dijk's huge price tag, Klopp said the 26-year-old had exceeded his expectations already.