Alan Shearer claims Liverpool paid over the odds to land Virgil van Dijk as they made him the most expensive defender in the game.

A £75million deal to take the Dutchman from Southampton to Anfield was agreed on Wednesday, ahead of the transfer window opening on January 1.

That is when Liverpool will welcome Van Dijk formally into their ranks, and former England captain Shearer, who played for Saints early in his career, is convinced the Reds only agreed to the world-record fee out of desperation.

He told BBC Radio 5 live: "Southampton have got one hell of a deal. Van Dijk is a good player, yes, but for £75million? No, he's not worth it at all.

"Southampton could have named any price they wanted. They knew Liverpool were absolutely desperate for a centre-half. Everyone is aware they are desperate - we have seen them come up short several times this season.

"When Liverpool try and sign a goalkeeper - which they also desperately need - they will find the same thing.

"We've been saying it for a number of years now - that transfer fees have gone through the roof - and this one has taken it to another level."