Virgil van Dijk’s debut for Liverpool will have been everything the Dutchman could have dreamed of.
He wasn’t supposed to take part in the match, with Jurgen Klopp originally planning to ease his record signing in, but injuries to others, including in the warm-up, changed those plans.
With the FA Cup tie balanced at 1-1, Van Dijk rose to convert a header and seal the win for his new side, immediately becoming a fan favourite among Liverpool’s support.
It also gave birth to a football chant, and Voetbal International have asked the Dutchman about it and his memories of that first match.
“The score is 1-1, as tense as you like. Then up pops the head of Virgil Van Dijk. Oh Everton, we’re all laughing at you.”
The 27 year old told the Dutch magazine: “Haha, yes I know this too. The fans sang this after my debut against Everton. If you then also make the winning goal, yes, that counts. I was immediately taken in.”
Asked to describe the goal, Van Dijk said: “When that cross came, I knew that I would come for Jordan Pickford. But yes, it goes so fast. You just do what you think you should do and then you appear to be at the ball. Goal.
“After that match we went with the team for a short training camp to Dubai. That was perfect, that way I got to know everybody in no time and it turned out that it clicked right away. It has always remained that way. You know, I’ve only been playing Liverpool for ten months, but I feel like I’ve been around here for a long time.”
The Oranje defender has certainly bought into the club and when asked to explain how big it is, he wasn’t fully able to: “I can’t do it, you have to feel it, experience it, taste it. It’s as good as gold for me, though. Of course I knew Liverpool, who doesn’t in the world. You form a picture of such a club from a distance and then you realise that it must be very big.
“If you then, like me, start playing with Southampton, it gets a bit deeper: that stadium, those people, the You’ll Never Walk Alone, all great. But then you will be completely surprised and overwhelmed once you sign a contract here. And after that it will take a while before you really get it.”