There’s no denying that Virgil Van Dijk transformed Liverpool, almost single-handedly. The truth is, a fantastic summer recruitment including Alisson, Fabinho & Naby Keita added to the arrivals of Van Dijk, Mohamed Salah & Andy Robertson… and things just clicked.
He was injured by Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby & faces a long period out, after surgery for ACL damage. This will damage Liverpool, who have become used to him being in the lineup. He’s ever-present, missing a single game since joining Liverpool.
In addition to winning the Premier League & Champions League with Liverpool, Van Dijk has personal achievements such as the PFA Player of the Year award in 2018-19. He also broke a record, as the first defender to win the UEFA Player of the Year award.
Especially since fans have been unable to enter stadiums, you can hear the presence that Virgil has on the field. He’s always issuing instructions, keeping Robertson & Alexander-Arnold in line aswell as re-assuring his central partner that he’s got time on the ball. He provides a fantastic presence.
We all know what Virgil Van Dijk can do, but it’s time now to see who can fill the void. Liverpool need to settle this quickly, or they could find themselves in trouble. With an injury to Alisson also causing issues for Klopp, Liverpool fans are concerned that they won’t be able to defend their Champions badge of honour.
Joel Matip, Joe Gomez & Fabinho will share the reigns, but Klopp needs to build a partnership between two of the three. What’s more worrying, is that another central defensive injury will be chaos.
Liverpool will also miss Van Dijk on attacking corners. The Dutchman has scored 10 goals for Liverpool, but Gomez has never scored. Joel Matip isn’t prolific either, with 4 goals in 4 years. Fortunately, Mohamed Salah has hit the ground running & if Liverpool need to rely on goals, they have an attack that has the potential to outscore any other.
What’s fortunate for Liverpool is that their direct opponents haven’t started great. Man City were demolished by Leicester City & couldn’t win against Leeds. They may need to rely on their competition not performing.