Virgil Van Dijk has a reputation as the calmest defender on the planet – there’s even a song about it in fact.
But during the matches since lockdown, one of the things you’ve been able to notice is the Dutchman’s booming voice throughout the 90 minutes.
He never shuts up in fact! So while the 29-year-old is incredibly composed on the ball, his discipline off it and his unbelievable communication benefits his team-mates greatly – even when he has to give one of them a telling off – as he’s recently described.
“If you look at us as a team, defending is something everyone is doing,” he said on Premier League Productions, cited in the Express.
“Stuff from the front with the way players are pressing up front and the midfield, how much energy they put in is incredible.
“Obviously the worst case scenario if they come to our last line then we have to do it.
“If they come past us then we have this amazing goalie, I think the best goalie in world football.
“I try to stay calm. Obviously there are moments where you will see me going nuts and maybe Hendo at times.
“Sometimes you have to be calm because team-mates look to you and if you are the one who’s stressing then they will stress as well.
“I try to stay as calm as I can, find solutions as good as they come and there are obviously times where you have to switch off.”
Van Dijk is the best central defender on the planet by some distance, and he’ll be marshalling our backline for years to come.
Alongside him, Jurgen Klopp can either select the excellent Joel Matip or van Dijk’s favourite partner, Joe Gomez – who also has the potential to become world-class in his own right.
In fact, he’s not far off now. Together, they have helped the Reds to the best defensive record in the country for the second consecutive season – although as van Dijk mentions – they are helped by the brilliance of Alisson behind them!