Neil Warnock says Virgil van Dijk was ‘the one that got away’ after his chief scout at Crystal Palace said he was ‘too SLOW’ when he was offered the current Liverpool star for £5million before he joined Southampton
- Neil Warnock had the chance to sign Virgil van Dijk from Celtic back in 2014
- His chief scout at Crystal Palace believed that the defender was ‘too slow’
- Van Dijk would later join Southampton in 2015, before joining Liverpool in 2018
- The Dutchman is now perceived by many to be the best defender in the world
Neil Warnock has revealed he turned down the chance to sign Virgil van Dijk in 2014 after his chief scout said he was ‘too slow’.
Warnock has told the Mirror of his regret that he missed out on the chance to sign Van Dijk – who is now seen by many to be the best defender in the world.
Neil Warnock has revealed he missed out on the chance of signing Virgil van Dijk in 2014
Van Dijk joined Southampton after Crystal Palace scouts viewed him to be ‘too slow’
He said: ‘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.’
Van Dijk instead joined Southampton in 2015, and did enough there to encourage Jurgen Klopp’s side to sign him for a then world record fee for a centre-back of £75million in 2018.
The Dutchman has played a massive part in Liverpool’s success over recent seasons helping them win both the Champions League and Premier League.
Liverpool star Van Dijk is now regarded to be one of the best defenders in world football
Warnock, was appointed at Crystal Palace for his second stint at the club in August 2014.
He lasted just three months in the role, before going on to have spells at Queens Park Rangers, Rotherham United, Cardiff City and Middlesbrough before announcing his retirement this year.
Warnock revealed his chance to sign Van Dijk, as he picked him for his current dream Premier League XI.
As well as Van Dijk, he picked Kasper Schmeichel in goal, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dan Burn and Kieran Tierney in defence, Kevin De Bruyne, Declan Rice and Bernardo Silva in midfield, with a front three of Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.