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Virgil van Dijk explains special connection after Liverpool send signal with new contract

Virgil van Dijk has signed a new contract with Liverpool to commit his future for the long-term, the Premier League club have announced.

Jurgen Klopp has been speaking enthusiastically about the club’s approach to new contracts in the summer. Rather than pursuing new signings like some of their rivals, they are tying down the futures of some of their existing key players. Van Dijk has now officially become the latest to sign new terms.

Following the likes of Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho, the Dutch defender has committed his future for the long term, although Liverpool did not specify exactly when his new contract will last until. Various reports indicate that the agreement is until 2025.

Van Dijk has been out of competitive action since late 2020 due to an ACL injury. But after playing some part in pre-season, he should be ready to make his usual impact in the months ahead.

Liverpool have thus shown their continued faith in the 30-year-old, who was their player of the season in 2018-19 and was a key part of their title-winning squad the following year.

Asked how it felt to renew his contract, he told the club’s official website: “Amazing. It is something to be very proud of, that I am very proud of, that my wife and my kids are very proud of and obviously my agency.

“All the hard work we’ve put in so far continues and I am looking forward to what the future brings together with Liverpool. I’m delighted, very happy and proud.

“Since day one when I joined the club, I felt so much appreciation from the fans and from my teammates and the staff, that I could be a very important member of this football club.

“It has been going well; unfortunately last season for me personally has been a season to forget, to learn from and take with me, but I have enjoyed my time here and will keep enjoying it in the next couple of years altogether with all of you.”

Van Dijk ready to return

Liverpool have plenty of options to choose from going into their season opener against Norwich City on Saturday. In the absence of Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip at the end of last season, various players stepped up.

Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams in particular made an impression, while Liverpool have since added Ibrahima Konate to their squad.

It may be too much to ask of Van Dijk to make an instant return to competitive action, but thanks to his involvement in pre-season friendlies, he is confident he can contribute straight away.

“I feel good,” he insisted. “Obviously [they were] friendlies, you get your match fitness up, get into repetitions of doing things again and again.

“I feel like I am ready for the weekend, so we’ll see what the manager decides. It is going to be a totally different atmosphere and mindset for me personally as well. It is something we fight for, for the points, and hopefully we can get a positive result out of it.”

READ MOREJoe Gomez responds to Konate deal as Liverpool battle gets serious

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