Warnock: Ex-Leeds star better defender than record Liverpool signing

Joe Williams
Neil Warnock Sol Bamba

Neil Warnock has claimed that Championship side Cardiff City have a better defender than Liverpool’s new record signing Virgil van Dijk.

The Reds sealed a £75million deal for the Southampton centre-back on Wednesday ahead of the January transfer window, with some fans critical of the high fee.

And Warnock believes that Sol Bamba – one of his defenders at Cardiff – is a better natural defender than Jurgen Klopp’s new addition.

“I think Van Dijk has got better attributes on the ball than Sol Bamba but I don’t think he is a better defender,” Warnock told Sky Sports.

“I think Sol Bamba is slightly better than Van Dijk defensive-wise.

“I think Van Dijk has got more confidence on the ball and looks easier on the eye, but I don’t think he is better defensively.

“At centre-half I was looking at Van Dijk [when I was in charge at Crystal Palace].

“I suggested we buy him for £6m at the time and the chief scout said he wasn’t quick enough and didn’t see him stepping up [from the Scottish league] to the level we were looking for.

“You’ve got to be lucky with transfers when you’re a manager, you’ve got to hope that when you want a player you can actually go and get him rather than go through all the rigmarole but it made me smile in the morning when I saw that.”