Why Arsenal turned down the chance to sign Virgil van Dijk for just £12m

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The Dutchman was overlooked by a host of clubs when he was at Celtic (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal were given the opportunity to sign Virgil van Dijk for just £12million but turned him down over fears he was too nonchalant for the Premier League.

The Liverpool defender has now established himself as arguably the best centre-back in the division following his record £75m move to Anfield last January.

But plenty of clubs passed up the chance to sign him when he was at Celtic before Southampton finally took the plunge, and the Scottish champions former assistant manager says Arsenal were chief among them.

Van Dijk was available for just £12m back in 2015 (Picture: Getty)

Arsenals chief scout [Steve Rowley] thought he was too nonchalant, John Collins told beIN Sport.

Maybe that was part of his game but he ticks so many of the other boxes.

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Hes got pace, power, balance, distribution and hes good in the air.

He can be a bit nonchalant but he is a quality player.

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Molineux, Wolverhampton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday December 21, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Wolves. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Van Dijk and Liverpool have only conceded seven league goals this season (Picture: PA)

Gary McAllister was the assistant to Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool and I told him I hope youre going to come and take Virgil but Brendan didnt fancy him and didnt think he was better than what he already had.

He wouldve cost around £12m – every team watched him regularly but the worry was he was showing it against Scottish players but you could tell he was strong, powerful and a well balanced player.

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