Liverpool’s £75million man Virgil van Dijk is an inferior defender to Sol Bamba, according to Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock.
Netherlands centre-back Van Dijk will become the most expensive defender in history when he completes his move from Southampton to Anfield on January 1, with his reported fee immediately sparking frenzied debate.
Cardiff boss Warnock, whose side lie third in the Championship as they chase promotion to the top flight, added an unexpected strand to the conversation by claiming the 32-year-old and well-travelled Bamba is better in terms of pure defending.
“I think Sol Bamba is slightly better than Van Dijk, defensive-wise,” he said.
“Van Dijk’s got better attributes on the ball but I don’t think he’s a better defender than Sol Bamba.
“I think Van Dijk’s is easier on the eye but I don’t think he’s better defensively.”
Liverpool Football Club can confirm they have reached an agreement with Southampton for the transfer of Virgil van Dijk.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 27, 2017
Warnock went on to explain how he was close to signing Van Dijk for a mere £6m during his time in charge of Crystal Palace, only for his chief scout to express doubts over the then-Celtic player’s ability.
“At the time the chief scout said he wasn’t quick enough, he was playing in the Scottish League and he didn’t see him stepping up to the level we were looking for,” he added.
“I hope he’s watching this morning that chief scout, £75million? It made me smile when I saw that.”
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