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Ex-Groningen coach Huistra: Why I signed Liverpool star Van Dijk

Former Groningen coach Pieter Huistra is delighted seeing Virgil van Dijk succeed with Liverpool.

Huistra advised Groningen to sign Van Dijk as a 20-year-old in 2010 after watching him in a youth game for boyhood club Willem II, just months before he would arrive to take over as the Eredivisie side's manager.

He told the Daily Express: "I'm biased.

"But I think he is one of the best in the world at this moment."

Huistra added: "I told the Groningen technical director that he was a good player, a very interesting player.

"He still had to grow a little bit in terms of muscle. He was a bit lanky at the time and you could see he was not fully developed. But he certainly had some qualities.

"He was a good passer especially and had good defensive positioning.

"The older players immediately accepted him as a full member. Sometimes you have players from the reserves coming over and you still see some resistance with the older guys - but he was fully accepted from day one."

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Paul Vegas

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