But the 26-year-old says the chance to join the Reds and play under manager Jurgen Klopp was irresistible.
Van Dijk's mammoth price-tag has made him the most expensive defender in transfer history. I wasn't sure before the game but I was very sure afterwards.
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When asked why he chose Liverpool, the Netherlands global said: "I think the size of the club, the fans, the players, the manager, the whole package here is fantastic".
Despite the pressures that come with such a figure, the centre-back isn't anxious.
Asked by Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher why he snubbed City and Chelsea, Van Dijk told Sky Sports: "I think the size of the club, the fans, the players, the manager, the whole package here is unbelievable".More news: Has Trump talked to North Korea's Kim?
Signed to reinforce the Reds' back-line, he began repaying that fee at the opposite end of the field by scoring the winning goal in a 2-1 FA Cup third-round victory at home to local rivals Everton last week. "I can't change anything about that", said Van Dijk.
Klopp praised new signing Virgil van Dijk for his impressive debut where he scored the victor against Everton in the FA Cup. "The team's tactics should be as tuned as possible and I haven't made a decision so far [on who starts]".
Redknapp however feels that Klopp's side did the right thing to sign Van Dijk, who is regarded as one of the best defenders in the Premier League and he feels that they are now likely to end up finishing in the top four this season.More news: South Korea proposes having joint women's hockey team with North
"As good as he is, defensively they have had a problem for a long time now and I think Van Dijk pretty much guarantees you top four".More news: President Trump Thinks Interview With Mueller Amid Russia Probe Unlikely