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Dean Saunders: 'Virgil van Dijk has an attitude problem'

Saunders: 'Van Dijk has attitude problem'
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Former Liverpool striker Dean Saunders claims that new £75m signing Virgil van Dijk needs to improve his attitude if he is to succeed at the club.

Former Liverpool striker Dean Saunders has claimed that the club's new record signing Virgil van Dijk needs to prove that he has the right attitude to succeed at Anfield.

Van Dijk has agreed a £75m move to Merseyside from Southampton and will become the world's most expensive defender when he completes the switch on January 1.

However, Saunders is not entirely convinced by the Dutchman and believes that he could be found out when the going gets tough.

"I have seen van Dijk with the chips down and I've got to be honest, I hope I'm wrong, but his attitude has got to be better than he has shown. If I'm Liverpool manager I might think he'll do that to me," Saunders told talkSPORT.

"If I was Klopp, I would say to van Dijk: 'I'm going to pay £75m for you, I'm going to give you £200,000 a week, all I want from you is an hour and a half's training from you every day flat out and try your best on a Saturday, is that a deal?'

"If you come in one day and you're not having a go in training you are breaking the contract. If [van Dijk] doesn't do that, he will get found out."

Van Dijk will be eligible to play for Liverpool during the New Year's Day clash with Burnley.

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Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

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