Alan Shearer has said that Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk appears to be ‘back to his best’ as the Reds line up a potential Premier League title challenge this season.
The 32-year-old had a difficult 2022/23 campaign by his standards, as did Jurgen Klopp’s side as a whole, but the centre-back and his teammates look rejuvenated this season.
Speaking on The Rest is Football Podcast following the 3-0 win over Brentford on Sunday, the BBC pundit claimed that the Netherlands skipper is in imperious form ahead of the top-of-the-table clash against Manchester City straight after the international break.
Shearer said of Van Dijk: “He looked back to his best, he read the game very well. They are always going to score goals with the talent they have up top.”
The ex-Newcastle striker’s comments about the Liverpool captain are very similar to those made by Don Hutchison and Neil Mellor after the Brentford game, so the consensus appears to be that the 32-year-old is nearing the phenomenal levels he reached in his first couple of seasons at Anfield.
Van Dijk gave a masterful display on Sunday, with the statistics from that game backing up the widespread praise of his performances.
As per Sofascore, the Dutchman won an astounding 10 duels out of 12, completed 55 of his 62 passes (89% success rate), made three tackles, four clearances and two blocks and picked out a teammate with all 10 of his long passes.
His heroic goal-line clearance in the closing minutes against Brentford epitomised his display, with the skipper hell-bent on preserving a third successive Premier League clean sheet at Anfield for Liverpool.
A certain Erling Haaland is likely to provide Van Dijk with his toughest test of the campaign so far, but conversely, the 32-year-old could also prove to be the most imperious opponent the Man City striker has faced all season. What a duel that promises to be!