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Guardiola admits Liverpool’s Van Dijk is ‘an exceptional player.’

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has described Liverpool centre-back Virgil Van Dijk as an ‘exceptional player,’ ahead of the two sides crunch clash at the Etihad tonight.

Plenty of eyebrows were raised when Liverpool forked out £75 million – a world record fee for a defender – to sign Van Dijk from Southampton last January. However, the 27-year-old Dutch defender has been immense for Jurgen Klopp’s side, with the Reds long-standing defensive issues immediately disappearing upon his arrival.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of tonight’s top of the table clash, Guardiola admitted he rates Van Dijk highly and said that the hefty fee Liverpool paid to secure his services is now looking like money well spent.

“He’s an exceptional player,” said Guardiola.

“When a player costs whatever it costs and it works, it is well worth it. When you pay less and it doesn’t work, it is so expensive. If he can play every three days with no injuries and play consistently, it is well worth it.”

Liverpool are currently seven points ahead of Man City going into tonight’s fixture, with both teams having played 20 games so far this season.

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