Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Virgil van Dijk just keeps producing for Liverpool

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When Virgil van Dijk made a £75million move from Southampton to Liverpool in the January of 2018, some questioned whether Van Dijk was really worth his big transfer fee. However, since then the Dutchman has set about proving himself on Merseyside.

Van Dijk was again influential on Wednesday night, as the Reds recorded a 3-1 victory at Bayern Munich to book their place in the last eight of the Champions League. Jurgen Klopp’s team failed to keep a clean sheet, but Van Dijk headed home the Reds crucial second goal while assisting Sadio Mane’s opening goal.

Dominant in both boxes

The Dutch man-mountain is known for his presence in his team’s own penalty area. He has always been an attacking threat but was not really been getting the rewards for his aerial ability in the opposition area until recently. Van Dijk has now scored a couple of goals and picked up a few assists this season because of his strength and physique.

We are all aware of his defensive displays. During the last year, he has developed into one of the best centre-backs in world football. The difference he has made to a previous leaky Liverpool defence cannot be overstated. Liverpool’s opposition now has to work very hard to score against the Merseysider’s. They are no longer a soft touch in the heart of defence, as they had been in previous campaigns.

The Dutchman has not just brought his defensive ability to the Reds. He brings a calm and leadership to the defence that was previously missing. You can see him berating his teammates at times. It is those sorts of leadership abilities that put him above many of Europe’s top centre-backs.

Van Dijk would get in any team in Europe

Virgil van Dijk’s performances this season have just underlined his quality. In fact, it would be difficult to argue with the fact that he would get in any top European team. He is simply that good.

Reportedly, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola looked at signing Van Dijk before he moved to Liverpool. However, the Catalan boss baulked at Van Dijk’s price tag. Manchester City with Van Dijk at the heart of their defence would have been a frightening prospect for the Citizens rivals.

Van Dijk seems to buy into Liverpool and their ambitions. Maybe he can win the big trophies with Liverpool. However, if he does not, then you get the feeling there will be plenty of Europe’s biggest clubs sniffing around the former Southampton man.

Van Dijk could be the key to end Liverpool’s title drought

Van Dijk is now arguably Liverpool’s most important player. He leads by example and his will to win is infectious. Klopp was clever in the signing of Van Dijk. He was exactly the sort of defender the Reds needed.

In fact, the 27-year-old could be the key to Liverpool ending their title drought this season. The Reds are currently second place in the Premier League table, a point behind reigning champions Manchester City. Klopp’s side are by no means out of the race for the title.

The Reds are now odds of 9/4 to win the Premier League title this season. If Liverpool do lift the Premier League trophy at the end of the season, then Virgil van Dijk will have played a big part in the victory. Of course, the Dutchman could still help the Reds to a double of the Champions League and Premier League title. If he does then Van Dijk will look like a bargain, as the centre-back just keeps producing the goods for the Merseysider’s.

Can Virgil van Dijk help Liverpool end trophy drought this season?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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