Jurgen Klopp praised Virgil van Dijk’s character after the defender eased his way through a hostile return to Southampton.
Van Dijk completed a long-mooted move to Anfield from St Mary’s last month, becoming the most expensive defender of all time in the process.
Klopp has gently eased him into the first team and checked whether the Netherlands international was ready to withstand the inevitable boos on his return to the south coast on Sunday.
The 26-year-old centre-back was seldom troubled as goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah enhanced Liverpool’s prospects of a top-four finish against the relegation-threatened Saints.
“He did really well, he dealt with the situation fantastically,” Klopp told a post-fight news conference when asked about Van Dijk’s display.
“We had a little talk before the game and I asked, ‘What do you think?’
“He said, ‘No, I’m fine boss’. I don’t want to make him nervous if he isn’t nervous and obviously he wasn’t and that’s good.
“I understand everything in football. The crowd is there to make life difficult for the opponent but I think it was not too difficult for him from this point of view and I’m happy about it.”
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