Roberto Firmino has revealed what impact Virgil van Dijk has already had on his new Liverpool teammates in training.
Van Dijk joined the Reds from Southampton on New Year's Day for a club-record £75m - a transfer fee that is also the highest paid for a defender in world football - and has begun settling into his new surroundings in the past couple of days.
Speaking to Liverpool's official site, Firmino explained that the Dutch international had already begun to show his talents and qualities during the various drills conducted by manager Jurgen Klopp and his coaching staff.
And the Brazilian forward stated that his side had acquired a 'really, really good defender' in Van Dijk if his showings in training had been anything to go by.
Firmino said: “He’s a really, really good defender. It’s always really hard playing against him. It’s very hard, he marks very tightly and I just think he’s a really, really high-quality player.
“I’m really looking forward to playing alongside him, of course. Obviously it’s great that he’s joined our team and now that he’s come with us of course I’ll welcome him in with open arms and I’ll look to make friends with him.”
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Van Dijk was courted by plenty of top European sides before Liverpool won the race for his signature and, before the transfer saga that ensued over the 26-year-old, had proven himself a capable centre-half at both the Saints and Celtic.
Firmino went on to add what he felt set Van Dijk apart from some of the Premier League's other top defenders and tipped his new club mate to perform well for Klopp's team.
He said: “I think in addition to the fact he’s very physical, it’s his presence. He’s tall, he’s very strong and that’s in addition to his innate ability.
“I just hope he helps us as much as possible. I think like everybody else who comes in, they add something to the group and I hope that he can also do that and bring something to the team himself."