Garth Crooks named Virgil van Dijk as the only Liverpool player in his latest team of the week column.
The Englishman paid tribute to the Dutchman’s importance to Jurgen Klopp’s men, suggesting that the Merseysiders would struggle immensely without their talismanic No.4
“I really don’t know what Liverpool would do without Virgil van Dijk,” the 64-year-old wrote for BBC Sport.
“He was the only player who managed to keep his cool in the Merseyside derby when all around him seemed to be losing theirs.
“In another fractious affair between these two sides there was a moment when bookings were being thrown around by referee Stuart Attwell like confetti.
“As for Everton, their situation is quite straightforward for me. If they continue to play with the fight and commitment they showed against Liverpool, staying in the league will not be an issue. The problem for them is if they don’t.
“As for Van Dijk, he was the coolest man on the pitch.”
The former Southampton man enjoyed another stellar outing for the hosts as they secured their 24th league win of the campaign and a 19th clean sheet to send Alisson Becker one clear of Ederson in the race for the golden glove.
With rotation inevitably comes an unsettled backline, with us having struggled to perfectly execute our offside trap – arguably the calling card of our 2021/22 season – without Van Dijk around to shepherd the defence.
That being said, with the likes of Ibrahima Konate breaking in beautifully since his switch from the German top-flight and Joe Gomez still expected to have a bright future in the game, our prospects beyond the Dutch international are far from poor.
We can only hope that our current array of defensive options take every opportunity they get to soak up the experience and leadership skills possessed by the 30-year-old.