Virgil van Dijk sends brilliant message to Liverpool fans after becoming latest player to commit his future

The centre-back will remain at Anfield until the summer of 2025.

<p>Virgil van Dijk has signed a new Liverpool contract. Picture: Jan Kruger/ Getty Images</p>

Virgil van Dijk has signed a new Liverpool contract. Picture: Jan Kruger/ Getty Images

Virgil van Dijk has thanked Liverpool fans for their “appreciation” after committing his long-term future to Anfield.

The centre-back has put pen to paper on a new four-year deal with the Reds, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2025.

At a glance: 5 key points

- Van Dijk cost the Reds a club-record fee of £75 million from Southampton in January 2018.

- The Dutchman has won the Champions League and Premier League at Anfield.

- He’s been named in the PFA Team of the Year twice, while he finished runner-up in the Ballon d’Or to Lionel Messi in 2019.

- The defender helped Liverpool claim the best defensive record in the league for two years running but was injured just five games into last season and has not played a competitive game since.

- Van Dijk becomes the fifth Liverpool player to sign a new contract this summer.

What’s been said

Speaking to liverpoolfc.com, van Dijk told of his pride after extending his stay on Merseyside.

Virgil van Dijk lifts the Champions League after Liverpool’s defeat of Tottenham in 2019. Picture: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

He said: “It is something to be very proud of, that I am very proud of, that my wife and my kids are very proud of and obviously my agency.

“All the hard work we’ve put in so far continues and I am looking forward to what the future brings together with Liverpool. I’m delighted, very happy and proud.”

“Since day one when I joined the club, I felt so much appreciation from the fans and from my teammates and the staff, that I could be a very important member of this football club.

“It has been going well. Unfortunately last season for me personally has been a season to forget, to learn from and take with me, but I have enjoyed my time here and will keep enjoying it in the next couple of years altogether with all of you.”

Background

Liverpool smashed their club-record transfer fee to sign van Dijk for £75 million from Southampton in January 2018.

Every penny of that price tag has been justified, however.

Van Dijk has been a colossus in defence and established himself as arguably the world’s best centre-half.

In the 2018-19 season, he played a crucial role in helping Liverpool claim their sixth European Cup with a 2-0 win over Tottenham in the final in Madrid.

The following campaign, he was just as important as the Reds ended their 31-year wait for a top-flight title.

Klopp’s men romped to Premier League glory, finishing on 99 points and 18 ahead of second-place Manchester City.

Virgil van Dijk, right, celebrates Liverpool’s Premier League triumph. Picture: Phil Noble/Pool via Getty Images

The Netherlands captain missed the majority of last term, however, after suffering a serious knee injury in a 2-2 draw against Everton in October.

In total, Van Dijk has made 162 appearances at Anfield, scoring 14 goals.

Tying down assets

Van Dijk becomes the fifth Liverpool player to commit his long-term future this summer.

He follows in the footsteps of Trent Alexander-Arnold (2025), Fabinho (2026), Harvey Elliott (2026) and Alisson Becker (2027) to do so. All are highly valuable commodities at Anfield.

The Reds are next looking to hand fresh deals to Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. Their respective contracts expire in 2023.