By 90Min
March 02, 2018

Virgil van Dijk has hit back at his critics over his behaviour at Southampton, as he revealed that nobody 'knows what really happened' over his Liverpool transfer.

The world's most expensive defender spoke to the BBC about his £75m switch from the south coast to Merseyside in the January transfer window, and claimed that the flak he had received over his stance was over the top.

Van Dijk's conduct was called into question by Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino and the club's fanbase as he was forced to train alone after Southampton had halted a summer move to Liverpool.

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

After eventually getting his wish two months ago, the Dutch international has finally spoken out about the saga that saw him become the latest addition to Jurgen Klopp's squad.

He said: "People don't know what really happened. I kept my head down and kept playing. I was out for eight months and was just happy to play again.

"I just switched on again after the transfer window in the summer. I didn't think about anything until I got a phone call from the Southampton board."

Now that he is part of the Reds' senior side at Anfield, however, Van Dijk has admitted that he has had to quickly adapt to the intensity of training drills under Klopp with competition for places fierce in the German gaffer's team.

He continued: "I am getting used to how we play. The intensity of our game is a lot higher than what I was used to.

"Every day here is tough. We work very hard, run a lot and there is a big difference. I needed to step up my game, especially in the beginning."

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Van Dijk instantly endeared himself to Liverpool supporters by notching a debut winning goal in the 2-1 FA Cup third round triumph over bitter rivals Everton just four days after his arrival.

And the 26-year-old explained that the strike capped a 'crazy week' for him and his family and he looked ahead to the future.

He added: "It was a crazy and busy week, something special that I will never forget. I wasn't even supposed to start the [Everton] game.

"I came here to achieve everything possible. I made the choice to come here base on everything. I love the fans, the atmosphere in the stadium and at away games. The quality we have in our team is unbelievable. I am proud and happy to be here.

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