Virgil van Dijk has looked to set the minds of fans at rest by expressing his confidence that no.2 goalkeeper Adrian will deliver in the absence of an injured Alisson.
Alisson is set to be sidelined for between four and eight weeks after suffering a calf tear in our 4-0 win against Norwich on Friday night.
The temporary loss of our world-class ‘keeper has left many of us concerned that a supreme Manchester City side will be able to gain early ground in the title race.
But Van Dijk insists the team will cope in his absence and pointed out just how useful Adrian’s experience will be.
“The injury is something we have to deal with and something we will deal with,” the Dutchman told the Echo.
“Adrian is at the age and stage of his career that he can come in a slot into any team easily.”
There will be times where we feel the impact of Alisson’s layoff, but with the best defender on the planet leading our back four, we can hopeful that opposition attackers will have very little joy.
Our defence wasn’t the best in the league last season solely because of the Brazilian – it was a collective effort.
Van Dijk was also asked about defensive partner Joe Gomez, who edged Joel Matip for a starting spot against Norwich.
He was full of praise for the 22-year-old, who has mercifully started the season injury-free and can only get better.
“I think Joe did well against Norwich and he is a fantastic player,” he said.
“We have a lot of centre backs walking around at the moment – everyone is fit so the manager has to make a decision.
“I’m just happy for him that he’s fit and playing at a high level.
“Hopefully he will just keep improving.”
That said, Van Dijk will be demanding more from his team-mates next time out after moments of sloppiness crept in against the newly-promoted side.
Too often, as in the Community Shield, we allowed them to get in behind, and it resulted in the loss of a clean sheet with Teemu Pukki’s strike.
It won’t be long, though, before our coaching and playing personnel find a way to tighten things up.