By 90Min
December 28, 2017

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher believes that the stronger guarantee of regular starts is what gave his old team the advantage over Manchester City in the pursuit of Virgil van Dijk, with the Reds completing a £75m deal for the Dutchman that will become official on 1st January.

Liverpool made Van Dijk the most expensive defender in history, also more than doubling their club record transfer fee in the process, beating Premier League leaders City to the prized player.

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

City boss Pep Guardiola has been targeting a new centre-back as a result of the persistent injury struggles for captain Vincent Kompany and the potential defensive weak spot after John Stones also picked up an injury earlier this season.

It was continually said, however, that Van Dijk wouldn't have been first choice at City as long as Stones and Nicolas Otamendi are fit and therefore would have more than likely had to make do with a back-up role at the Etihad Stadium.

At Liverpool, on the other hand, he will lead the defence as an automatic starter.

"The attraction would be him going as the No1 centre-back," Carragher told Sky Sports.

"I thought City could go for him and replace him with Vincent Kompany, but they still have good defenders, such as Stones. Maybe there was more fight for his place," the retired defender said.

"He should be the first name on the team sheet for Klopp."

Van Dijk has been handed the number four shirt at Liverpool and will be registered to play as soon as the January transfer window opens on Monday.

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