Manchester United finally completed the £80m signing of the England centre-back to eclipse the £75m Liverpool paid Southampton for the Dutch international in January 2018.
When Liverpool were crowned European champions 18 months later having closed the gap in the Premier League on Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp was hailed for having got himself a bargain with Van Dijk such a central figure to the club’s revival in fortunes.
And now Manchester United fans will be expecting much the same of their new arrival from Leicester.
“Good luck to him,” Van Dijk said of the man who took his record. “I can’t say anything about that because there was always going to be a time when it was going to change. That’s the market.
“He doesn’t have any influence on that but I wish him well.
“The price comes with pressure but it doesn’t change too much because you always have pressure at big clubs like Manchester United.
“You need just to focus on doing what you love to do and play your best game. Get your qualities out of the pitch, enjoy your game and don’t think about the other things.
“It is not easy to completely shut off all the pressure. Personally, I like to put things in perspective.
“Quite a lot of things are more important than playing football and what we do, we are blessed.
“We can do what we love to do and also to play for Liverpool – they are such a big club. You need to enjoy it but the pressure will always be there.”
Not least when the striker Maguire is marking starts to tease him about the weight of his price tag.
“What can you do?” Van Dijk said. “I am not listening to them. It does not change anything in my head.
“I just like to perform the best way I can and sometimes mistakes come.
“We all make mistakes, but you need to try to be the best you can be and get the maximum out of yourself.”
That is a process which Van Dijk aims to continue even after his defensive performances earned him the PFA player of the year award.
His focus this season is on doing more in the opponent’s box after his assist enabled Joel Matip to take Sunday’s Community Shield against Manchester City to penalties.
“With my height and qualities with heading I should be a little bit more dangerous but it is not easy,” Van Dijk said.
“Most of the time I am always marked by the best defensive header of the ball from the other team.
“But it is something I am definitely challenging myself to improve and that can only be a good thing.”