Jason Cundy has labelled Virgil van Dijk as ‘overrated’ but can’t put his finger on what is letting the Dutchman down at the moment.
The Netherlands captain came under criticism yesterday for the role he played in the build up to Philip Billing’s strike for Bournemouth as Liverpool fell to a 1-0 defeat on the south coast.
Our No. 4 has become recognised as one of the world’s best defenders since moving to Anfield from Southampton back in 2018 and was named in FIFA’s FIFPro World XI recently, but many believe the serious injury the 31-year-old suffered back in 2020 is now catching up with the towering centre half.
“I think he’s overrated, personally,” Cundy told talkSPORT (as quoted by The Boot Room). “I think there’s a lot of media loving of what Van Dijk has done. No doubt he’s a brilliant centre half, [but] he makes too many mistakes.
“Mistakes that I think go unnoticed. There was a goal they conceded when they went out a couple of seasons ago during COVID in the Champions League. And again, he has this languid style of running, he seems to try to buy time but doesn’t react.”
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He added: “That is poor centre half play [when Van Dijk was outmuscled by Dominic Solanke] even though he’s on the other side.
“I think he’s had a good 18 months and I know the injury has had an impact. But that goal today was not about the injury, that’s about his lack of, I can’t quite put my finger on it because once he [Ouattara] gets away from him inside, he seems to stop and misjudge the situation.”
There’s no denying that the former Celtic defender is not performing at his best at the moment but not many of Jurgen Klopp’s players are.
We feel it’s harsh to label van Dijk as ‘overrated’ as he’s still the best central defender at the club and remains one of the best in the league but his body language moments before Bournemouth’s goal yesterday was extremely concerning.
He appeared to give up on running back towards his own goal and was relying on those around him to keep the ball out of the net.
Our loss to the Cherries was a damaging one with us now once again six points behind Spurs meaning qualification for the Champions League is far from certain.
We believe that strengthening our midfield in the summer will go a long way in solving many of our current problems but we wouldn’t be against the signing of another quality central defender.
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