Speaking ahead of Liverpool's clash against Manchester United this Sunday, Virgil Van Dijk was careful not to be drawn into a war of words with new Red Devils captain Harry Maguire.
Maguire was in the headlines this week when his manager revealed that he would be taking over as club captain, replacing the departing Ashley Young, who left for Inter this week.
Quoted by the Mirror, asked if captaincy would be an issue for Maguire – who only moved to Old Trafford this summer – Van Dijk said: "I thought it wouldn’t change too much for him because at Man Utd there’s always a lot of pressure anyway - there is at all the big clubs."
Maguire and Van Dijk will be eternally linked after the Englishman overtook the Dutchman this summer as the world's most expensive defender. In August of last year, Leicester City received £80m for Maguire's services, eclipsing the £75m that Liverpool paid Southampton in January 2018 for Van Dijk.
Van Dijk dodged a confrontational response when asked if he held any ill will toward Maguire for taking away his title saying, "No, good luck to him, there was always going to be a time when that was going to change, because that’s the market. He doesn’t have any influence on that. We players don’t have any effect on the price and it’s the same for him as it was for me. But the price does come with pressure."
Pundits and analysts balked at the fee at the time of Van Dijk's transfer, including Alan Shearer. During an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, the former Newcastle man said: "Van Dijk is a good player, yes, but for £75m? No, he's not worth it at all.”
Van Dijk addressed the pressure of playing under a massive transfer fee, saying: “What can you do? I’m not listening! It doesn’t really change anything in my head. I just like to perform the best way I can and sometimes it comes with mistakes, we can all make mistakes, but you try to be as good as you can and get the maximum out of yourself.
“You just have to do what you love to do and play your best game, get your qualities out on the pitch, help the team. Enjoy all that and don’t think about the other things.”