Neil Warnock has come out today in the Daily Mirror to tell of his regret at not signing ‘the one that got away’ Virgil Van Dijk.
Warnock talked about how was offered the future best defender in the world for peanuts when he was in charge of Palace in 2014, the year before Celtic sold him on for £13m, plus a 10% sell of fee, which later netted us another £7.5m when he made a £75m switch to Liverpool.
Speaking in the Mirror, Warnock is quoted as saying:
“The one that got away from me was Virgil van Dijk,”
“I got offered him when I was at Crystal Palace for £5million.”
“But my chief scout said he was too slow and he ended up at Southampton instead! It’s a shame because anything he may lack in pace, he makes up for 10-fold in his ability to read the game.”
Now, I can absolutely believe that an English scout came up to watch one of our games and turned his nose up at Van Dijk, simply because he was playing in Scotland, because that’s what most of them do and it’s why the likes of Liverpool have to pay six times the price getting him from another English side, because they quite frankly don’t have the foresight or even the common sense to realise that supreme talents like Virgil are on going to get better and better, no matter what level they are playing at.
The part that I simply cannot believe is that Warnock was offered him for £5m.
Offered by who? It certainly wasn’t Lawwell offering him around bottom table EPL clubs for that price, that’s for sure!
Of course, after what Liverpool went on to pay for Van Dijk, in hindsight we could have gotten more, but £13m was seen as a fair amount for him at the time, and it was also a record fee received for a playing playing in Scotland.
And to say he was offered him for that amount, kind of suggests that all Warnock had to do was say yes.
Again, we would never have sold him for that ridiculously low price, and in all honesty, I don’t think Van Dijk would have gone to Palace. Van Dijk would have had some good options and he wouldn’t have been in any hurry to join a relegation fodder side, playing under a dinosaur like Warnock.
And quite frankly, Warnock is just embarrassing himself with this tale. Again, it is another show on English arrogance, he’s basically saying he couldn’t be bother to travel up to Glasgow to watch a game or two or even watch a a couple of Celtic games on the telly to see for himself how good Van Dijk was.
Warnock was probably best keeping that tale to himself…