Former Liverpool defender, Glen Johnson, has given his thoughts on our Dutch colossus Virgil van Dijk. Johnson spent six years at Anfield, and was a key part of the 2013/14 team that nearly claimed Premier League glory.
Speaking to Jim White on talkSPORT, he said: “As a player you don’t want to see others around you panicking and that’s one thing I’ve never seen him do.
“When players see him as calm as he is in every situation, it rubs off and everyone puffs themselves out as well.
“There’s going to be many times in the Champions League you’ll come up against world class strikers, and he’s the player you need to put them to sleep.”
"Every Champions League winning team needs a player like Van Dijk."
“When you see him as calm as he is, it rubs off and everybody has that belief.”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) March 14, 2019
Having annouced his retirement from the game in January 2019, Johnson admitted that he is jealous that he will never play alongside Van Dijk.
“I would’ve liked to have him at Liverpool [when I was there],” he added.
“But, to be fair, we did have top centre-halves at the time as well. We had [Daniel] Agger and [Martin] Skrtel.
“This guy has taken it to another level. He’s so good on the ball, so calm, big and strong – there’s not really a weakness in his game at the moment. ”
You’re absoutely right, Glen! Although he name checks Agger and Skrtel, we don’t think that those two could ever be compared to Van Dijk. The Dutchman is in imperious form at the moment fresh off the back of scoring a towering header in the 3-1 victory against Bayern Munich at the Allianz.
With Porto our next opponents in the Champions League, Van Dijk will be making things tick at the back and working with James Milner who looks set to fill in at left-back in the absence of the suspended Andy Robertson.
But first, there’s the small matter of a trip to Craven Cottage to face Fulham – nothing less than a win will do. We’ll be facing up against another former Red in Ryan Babel, who recently told The Times that Van Dijk does have a weakness and he’ll be loooking to exploit it.
Sorry Ryan, but you’ll have your work cut out to convince Glen Johnson and every Liverpool fan in the country.