Liverpool fans and the club have some cheering news as defender Virgil van Dijk has extended his contract with the club until the summer of 2025.
The 30-year-old, who was under contract until 2023, follows Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho and Alisson in signing new deals with the club this summer.
Van Dijk played just five league games last season, as he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in October.
Van Dijk, who resumed playing in pre-season, said he was “delighted, very happy and proud” to sign a new deal.
“Where I am today, how I feel today, as a very senior, important player for the team and the club,” added the Netherlands center-back, who has made 130 appearances for Liverpool. “That’s just a fantastic feeling and why I feel at home here.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: “Imagine if we had to buy this boy now. Thank God we only had to give him a new contract.”
Liverpool’s only summer signing remains central defender Ibrahima Konate, bought from RB Leipzig for £36m.
The club has focused resources on securing the future of key first-team names, while rivals Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United have spent significantly more on new attacking players.
“We cannot spend money we don’t have,” said Klopp.
Asked if he was surprised other clubs were spending heavily despite the disruption the pandemic has caused, Klopp said: “I’m not surprised because these clubs don’t depend on this kind of thing, I think.
“We all know the situations at Chelsea, City, Paris St-Germain. What’s happening at Manchester United, I don’t know – I don’t know how they do it.
“I’m never surprised about the financial power of Manchester City, Chelsea, or Manchester United. I’ve been in the country long enough to know they always find a solution to do these things.
“You cannot compare to the other clubs, they don’t have any limits but we have limits and we were quite successful given the limits in the last two years.”
He added: “For us, it’s our way. We keep the team together, that’s important as well.
“I know it’s not as exciting as signing new players. People think that if you don’t sign, you don’t work – that’s not the case.
“I know it’s not as exciting, but if you’re a real Liverpool fan you’re excited about the news the club delivered in the last few weeks.”
Van Dijk, who joined Liverpool from Southampton for £75m in January 2018, has established himself as one of the Premier League’s most influential defenders, playing every domestic minute as the Reds won the title in 2019-20.
His injury early in the 2020-21 campaign was a significant moment in the club’s season, with their defensive resources also stretched by injuries to Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
Van Dijk subsequently chose not to play for the Netherlands at the delayed European Championship this summer to focus on his rehabilitation.
He has made three pre-season appearances and says his recovery from “a season to forget” has been “going well”.
“I feel good,” added Van Dijk, who could feature in Liverpool’s season opener at Norwich on Saturday.
“Friendlies, you get your match fitness up, get into repetitions of doing things again and again.
“I feel like I am ready for the weekend, so we’ll see what the manager decides. It is going to be a different atmosphere and mindset for me personally as well.”