Ex-Red claims Liverpool star is ‘frustrating’ to watch as Klopp is urged to strengthen his squad

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Glen Johnson has labelled Virgil van Dijk’s performances this season as ‘disappointing’ and believes the Dutchman looks nowhere near his best at the moment.

With Liverpool struggling for consistency this term and failing to reach the levels of the previous campaign where they were two games away from completing a glorious quadruple, a lot has been made of the performances of the Netherlands captain.

Our No. 4, who was named in the 2022 FIFPRO Men’s World XI last night, has become recognised as one of the world’s best defenders since moving to Anfield in 2018 but currently looks a shadow of his former self.

 “Virgil van Dijk has been disappointing, but that has more to do with how good we know he is and how highly he has performed for Liverpool since joining the club,” Johnson told ICE 36 (via Metro).

“His playing standard has been set so high, and at the moment he doesn’t look anywhere near it.

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“We know how he plays, super calm, relaxed and very casual, which is great but when he isn’t playing well that style can look awful. It sounds negative, but it is more of a compliment to him because over the last few seasons he has set the bar so high with his performances.

“When he plays at his best he makes the game look so bloody easy, and when he isn’t, you know how capable he is so it can be frustrating.”

Although we were held to a goalless draw by Crystal Palace on Saturday night, the result did mean Jurgen Klopp’s side have now kept three consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League.

The performances of our attackers at Selhurst Park was a slight concern, however, with us not really testing Vicente Guaita.

A much improved showing is needed tomorrow against Wolves to help reduce the current nine-point gap between ourselves and Spurs in fourth.

Johnson has admitted his concern at the fact the Reds may fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League and believes new signings are the answer if Klopp’s side are to return to their best.

“Liverpool and Chelsea played each other a few weeks ago and it was a mid-table clash,” our former No. 2 added. “Nobody would have expected that at the beginning of the season. 

“Liverpool have been at the very top for many years and it’s hard to maintain those standards – especially with the way they play with such high intensity – season after season with the same players.

“The drop-off hasn’t happened because the players are not buying into the style of football or are not enjoying playing under Klopp anymore, but it is hard to maintain that physicality. 

“I think new players coming into the club would buy into that approach, Klopp and would have given the team greater energy. They would have been as intense as the players from previous seasons. It’s hard to maintain that with the same players.

“If I could pick, I’d have Chelsea and Liverpool and West Ham in there [the top four], but that’s not going to happen.”

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