Georginio Wijnaldum has hailed Liverpool's signing of his compatriot Virgil van Dijk as a hugely exciting one for everybody connected to the club.
The Netherlands international officially sealed a transfer from Southampton today on a long-term contract, becoming the Reds’ new No.4.
Wijnaldum is delighted to welcome his fellow Dutchman to Anfield and told Liverpoolfc.com of his belief that the 6ft4in centre-back can improve on the level of performance he has produced in two-and-a-half years in the Premier League to date…
What was your reaction when the signing was announced?
I’m really happy, of course. He is not only my teammate now but is also a friend of mine. I’ve played together with him for the national team. I’m happy that he’s coming – now I’m not the only Dutch player!
What can fans expect from him?
A lot, I think. He already showed it at Southampton. Of course, he has to show it again. It’s going to be a new start for him – he has to show it at a new club. That’s not easy but he is capable of showing us he is going to make us better.
What kind of character is Virgil off the pitch?
Off the pitch, he is a really nice guy and a funny guy. That’s why I always [spend time] with him at the national team. He is himself, he is always easygoing. Even in difficult moments we’ve had with the national team, he still tries to be himself and tries to enjoy football and the time he can spend with his teammates.
Can he improve at Liverpool?
Every player can always improve. He will improve. He is going to work with good players, a good manager and good technical staff. That will help him to be a better player. I think he will improve.
Does this kind of signing generate excitement in the squad?
Liverpool is a big club that will always sign big players. In the squad, everyone will be happy if big players come to the club because it gives you a better chance of winning games and winning trophies. Everyone is excited, not only the players but also the fans and the people at the club. We’re always excited if players choose Liverpool [when] they could also choose other teams.
How much can he help for the rest of the season?
He can help us to win something because he is a good player, he already showed that at Southampton. It’s good for us – if you train with better players, you can improve and get better. It’s good for everyone that he’s coming to Liverpool.