Alan Shearer claims Southampton could have named any price for Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool would still have gone through with the deal.
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.”
Shearer’s former England team-mate Gary Neville was also taken aback by the price tag for the 26-year-old centre-back, who joined Southampton from Celtic for around £13million less than two and a half years ago.
Neville told Sky Sports: “It’s a lot of money, isn’t it? I’ve not seen a lot of Southampton recently but I’m not sure he’s even been playing that well.
“I know Liverpool have wanted him for obviously six months and they do need back-up. He’s a good defender and if they can get him back to his best… well they’ll need to won’t they for £75million?
“It’s the way the market’s shifted to an incredible level that’s shocked me. I’m not surprised by the actual transfer, but that is an incredible amount of money.”