Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been blasted by a former Netherlands international for being “lazy and nonchalant”.
The 29-year-old is one of the world’s top defenders, but he’s been accused of complacency since the season resumed.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher blasted the Dutchman for being “arrogant” in a 4-3 victory over Leeds United earlier this month, which saw him make a mistake to let Patrick Bamford score.
Former PSV man Wim Kieft has hit out at van Dijk and told De Telegraaf per Goal: “He is not sharp, he behaves with the Oranje [Netherlands national team] and Liverpool like the finished star, the great coaching leader, who shows a little too much that he does not like his fellow players.
“At the same time, he plays lazy and nonchalant himself. He makes mistakes and often runs away from defensive handiwork in matches. With his status, he should be at the forefront of the battle.
“It took van Dijk a long time to get to the top international level. He has been there for about two seasons now, but it is important that van Dijk remains very critical of himself. His environment also plays an important role in this.
“It’s okay if his trainers shake him up a lot.”
Van Dijk responded to his mistake against newly-promoted Leeds and he admitted he wouldn’t let it worry him.
“It was one of those… they are situations that can happen,” he told beIN Sports.
“I always try to do my best and that’s what I did. Unfortunately a goal came from it but I don’t worry about that.”
Van Dijk helped keep a clean sheet on Sunday as Liverpool ran out 2-0 winners against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Joe Gomez and Joel Matip were injured for the game and van Dijk lined up in central defence next to Fabinho.
Despite being a midfielder by trade, the Brazilian put in an accomplished performance and van Dijk admitted he would’ve given him man of the match.
“I just told him as well I think he was man of the match today,” he stated per Metro.
“To keep a striker like [Timo] Werner, don’t let him score, a bit unlucky with the penalty incident, but overall he was outstanding. Everyone knows how good he is.
“But it shows also that we need everyone.
“We were a bit unlucky with the injuries now but hopefully everyone comes back, it’s going to be such a long season.”