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 By PA Sport

Virgil van Dijk can be world's top defender at Liverpool - Claude Puel

Leicester manager Claude Puel has said he believes Virgil van Dijk can become the best defender in the world following his record £75 million move to Liverpool.

Van Dijk was captain of Puel's Southampton side last season as the Saints kept the centre-back.

But he finally became the world's most expensive defender on Wednesday, with Liverpool having pulled out of a £50 million move in the summer after Southampton complained to the Premier League about an alleged illegal approach.

Leicester head to Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday, with Van Dijk officially joining Liverpool when the transfer window opens on Jan. 1.

Puel said: "He is one of the best defenders in the world and he has all the qualities to become the best. It is fantastic for Liverpool.

"He can play in different good teams and it is a good reward for him. At the beginning of the season it is difficult for him because he wants to join another club, but now he will find his level.

"I am happy for him and happy he can't play against us.

"Of course I don't know if it is the right price but he is a fantastic player, fantastic defender. I had him for six months and then for the last six months he was injured.

"In those first six months he made progress and he has all the qualities. He is a strong character and personality."

Puel, whose side will be bidding to end a four-game run without a win at Anfield, praised Liverpool as "a great team with good defenders, midfield and attacking players."

He added: "They are a complete team. We have to look after our play and try to play our game against them.

"We had good opportunities and good results recently against big teams like against Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham. We like the big occasion."

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