Rio Ferdinand highlights the one thing Virgil van Dijk needs to improve on at Liverpool

Liverpool made no secret that they desperately wanted to sign Virgil van Dijk in the summer.

However, that tactic came back to haunt them after Southampton reported them for their alleged illegal approach.

It meant Jurgen Klopp took to take a step back. Did he pursue an alternative defensive option immediately or wait until halfway through the season and attempt to sign Van Dijk again?

The German manager went for the latter option, agreeing a £75 million deal for Van Dijk a few days before the January transfer window opened.

In the meantime, though, Liverpool missed a commanding centre-back and dropped valuable points as they attempted to keep up with runaway leaders Manchester City.

But Van Dijk has now arrived and the Reds have just kept two consecutive clean sheets with him at the heart of defence – a 2-0 victory against Southampton and a 5-0 thrashing of Porto in the Champions League.

It seems the 26-year-old is now fully settled at the club.

FERDINAND: WHAT VAN DIJK NEEDS TO DO AT LIVERPOOL
But despite his recent performances, Rio Ferdinand wants one more thing from Van Dijk.

The BT Sport pundit was speaking after Liverpool victory in Porto and insisted the defender need to bring leadership to this side – not just his ability to defend..

“This is what I want to see more from him,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.

“That defensive nous that he’s got, this figure that he has to become, winning your headers.

“In this league, you’ve got to be dominant and aggressive and push people around and be a leader. I think he’s got to fall into that category of being the leader of this team.

“This is what they’ve been lacking, he has to become that.

“£75million, he didn’t make the price tag but he’s got to go a way to justifying that. Not just through performances, but by being that man on the pitch.

“Vocal, bullying people around and running that changing room.”

Ferdinand has a good point.

There’s very little doubt that Van Dijk is an improvement on Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip but it wasn’t just a quality defender Liverpool needed.

They needed a leader. A leader that will organise the back-line and push and pull other defenders around.

If Van Dijk starts doing that at Liverpool, it will be £75 million very well spent.