Virgil Van Dijk
Virgil Van Dijk Liverpool

Liverpool centre-back Virgil Van Dijk is currently one of the best defenders in the Premier League.

Van Dijk joined the Reds at the start of the new year at which point many taunted Liverpool for paying too much for the Dutchman.

But only a few months into his new club, Virgil Van Dijk is already showing his class and he alongside Jor Gomez have stabilized the Reds defence.

Last season, Liverpool had a top class attacking line up but every alternate match their defence got exposed. But ever since the arrival of Virgil Van Dijk, the Anfield outfit have become a much more stable side.

The centre-back might be ruling the charts in the Premier League but the scene is much more different when it comes to the Dutch national side.

The Netherlands team is currently managed by Ronald Koeman – the same man who brought Virgil Van Dijk to Southampton from Celtic. And now the Orange boss has gone about cirticizing his defender.

Virgil Van Dijk’s error cost Netherlands the game against France last month in the Nations League and Ronald Koeman has now told his centre-back to pull up his socks and cut out on his mistakes.

Koeman said: “I told Virgil within 30 seconds of the end of the game against France what I thought.

“I know him so well – and that means I know where all his little faults are.

“Virgil has to improve. Not a lot. But sometimes he is a little too laid back. That needs to change.

“There are moments as a defender when you should be no more than three feet away from the striker you are marking.

“And, particularly in Van Dijk’s case, because of the strength and power he has he is too laid back.

“On Monday, when he arrived in our training camp in Zeist, he could see from the look on my face that I was thinking about the foul he made when Liverpool played Man City on Sunday.

“The tackle cost his team a penalty and Virgil realised that he had made the wrong decision.

“We have had lots of conversations about defending. He knows how good he is, and with his pace and strength, but sometimes that makes him a little too laid back, because he can recover most situations.

“It will not affect his chances with me. He is still my main man.

“You see him, with his strength, with his pace, and you know the level he plays at, the level he can be. I spoke with him, and said it will not affect his chances with me. But sometimes every defender – even one with his pace and strength – has to get a bit closer when marking, you cannot check out of the rush hour!

“We have discussed that, and he knows I want him to get better.”

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