LONDON: Dutch forward Cody Gakpo said he was persuaded to join Liverpool by Netherlands skipper Virgil van Dijk, who also plays at the Premier League club.
Gakpo, who scored three goals at the World Cup before the Dutch went out in the quarterfinals to eventual champions Argentina, joined Liverpool from PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday for a reported initial fee of £37 million (US$44.56 million).
British media reported Manchester United were also chasing the player before Liverpool sealed the deal and Gakpo told the club’s website that Van Dijk had played a big part in his decision to move to Anfield.
“What he told me was that this is the right move for me to make and for me to develop and to become a better player, that the club is a really big and massive club but also like a real family,” Gakpo said.
“I think that’s also very important for me because I’m a family guy. He said only good things. I’m also happy that he’s here, so he can help me with some stuff.”
Gakpo’s transfer will be officially completed at the start of the January transfer window and he will be eligible to make his debut against Brentford on Jan 2.
Liverpool, who are sixth in the league with 25 points from 15 matches, take on Leicester City on Friday.