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Darren Fletcher urged West Brom to sign Virgil van Dijk

West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Former captain Darren Fletcher urged Albion to sign Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk when he was at Celtic.

Virgil van Dijk.

The 34-year-old, who now plays for Stoke City, recommended the Dutch defender as well as former Manchester United team-mate Jonny Evans to the club and then head coach Tony Pulis.

Albion signed Evans for £6million in the summer of 2015, but Van Dijk moved to Southampton instead for £13m.

The Saints have since sold him to Liverpool for a whopping £75m, making him the most expensive defender in world football.

“With my Scottish connections, I watched him play for Celtic," Fletcher revealed on Sky Sports.

"We were looking at centre backs after the first summer we’d been there, and I was recommending Jonny Evans, who we managed to get, which was fantastic.

"And I also said ‘go and get Van Dijk’, I think it was before he went to Southampton for £10m, £11m.

"Obviously West Brom felt it was a little bit too much."

Fletcher believes Van Dijk has matured into one of the best centre-backs in the country.

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“He’s made a massive difference to Liverpool," added the former skipper. "He’s a monster as well. He’s so big and powerful, he cruises through games – he’s top class."

Fletcher is not the only person disappointed Albion didn't sign Van Dijk.

In September, former scout Stuart Millar claimed he left the Baggies after the club's refusal to act on his recommendation to sign the Dutchman while he was at Celtic.

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