van Dijk deal will affect market - Dyche

Virgil van Dijk won't be eligible to make his Liverpool debut against Burnley after making a £75m move - a world record for a centre back - from Southampton

Sunday, 31st December 2017, 11:22 pm
Updated Monday, 1st January 2018, 7:30 am
Virgil van Dijk closes down Andre Gray

But Sean Dyche accepts the Holland defender’s price tag could have a knock on effect on the transfer market, with the window about to open.

Transfer fees show no sign of slowing down, and Dyche, asked what he made of the Reds spending so much on a centre back, said: “I think it’s the market. I think (Jose) Mourinho is right, you either come out and pay it or you don’t.

“The idea of us all having a gauge like we did five or 10 years ago, when we all knew roughly where a player was, that’s gone.

“It’s just do you want the player, do you want to pay what the other club want?”

Burnley sold Michael Keane to Everton for a club record deal which could rise to £30m in the summer, but does the van Dijk deal impact on the value of the likes of his replacement James Tarkowski, who has been linked with the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea?

Dyche smiled: “£900million! So no it wouldn’t impact on us.

“Of course, it affects the whole market and that’s the downside for the smaller clubs because everyone shifts.

“Every club out there when they see that will decide their centre-half has just shot up in value, almost immediately.

“It’s no different to living down the road. You’ve got your house and someone down the road sells it for £100,000 more than you thought yours was worth.

“When you then put yours up, you don’t put it on for £100,000 less, do you? It’s no different. It’s just the business side of football.”

Tarkowski is available again after suspension, but Kevin Long has filled in admirably in his absence: “Yeah, he's a very good player, but Kevin Long has done fantastically well, particularly mentally.

“You have a tough afternoon against Harry Kane and even though he is a top player, your pride is hurt. You come out of that play at Man U, 2-2, play Saturday, clean sheet. That’s massive growth for a player.

“I know because I was a centre-half and when you have one of those awkward afternoons, it’s tough to take because you take it personally, you take it all on yourself, to reflect on that, make sense of it, and go again, that’s a big step forward.”

While Tarkowski is back, Liverpool have an injury doubt over one of the players of the season in Mo Salah, who scored in the 1-1 draw at Anfield earlier this season.

If the Egyptian is fit, how do you stop him?: “We’ll see. He’s a fine player, but it isn’t just about him by the way. The top teams in the division, the superpowers as I call them, they have threats all over the place.

“You can’t just look at one player. Harry Kane, what a player, what a professional, but Tottenham ain’t bad elsewhere.

“You look around that team and think if he has a quiet day, they have enough to open things up, Liverpool are the same, Man City too obviously etc, etc. Arsenal still have question marks about them, but they look decent to me.

“So you can’t worry about one player, you have to look at the whole situation and balance it off against what you are.”

Burnley beat Liverpool 2-0 at Turf Moor last season, and were unlucky to lose 2-1 at Anfield before claiming a point there this term.

All three games have been close, but Dyche reads nothing into that: “Yes, but that’s not a given for Monday. There are all sorts of factors which go into that - your planning, them having a quiet day, referee’s decisions. Let’s get it right, if you both perform at the top of your game, those big clubs win.

“There are a lot of other factors which come in to make those results, to make things happen which are not the norm. We’ve done it more often this season, but it doesn’t guarantee anything.

“They were really dominant that day (when Burnley won 2-0). We scored two good goals, but they were very dominant, not so much with golden chances, but with the feel of the game and that’s another way you have to ride these games out.

“I’m sure you all saw the comments about do you defend this way or defend that way or attack and all of that. I think it’s very easy to say that from the top of the tree, but not so easy when it you are us, you know what I mean? Let’s face it, if you have a basketball match with Manchester City, I’m telling you now, there’s only one winner.”

Record signing Chris Wood and Stephen Ward are again injury doubts.

Asked if they will be ready, Dyche admitted: “I doubt it. Maybe Woody, but I doubt it and if it’s touch and go, we can’t just risk people.”