‘Virgil van Dijk has come unstuck because he’s now being challenged in the Premier League’

Sol Campbell has questioned Virgil van Dijk’s place amongst the Premier League’s greatest centre-backs after a string of recent mistakes. 

Despite barely putting a foot wrong in Liverpool’s title-winning campaign, the Dutchman has already made a few errors leading to goals this term and featured in the shock 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa. 

It doesn’t look like Jurgen Klopp’s side will be as dominant this season and Campbell claims we’ll see Van Dijk struggle more because he’s finally being ‘challenged’.

Speaking to The Atheltic, the legendary centre-back explained:

“I know Van Dijk struggled in the Villa game, but he stands out these days because he’s head and shoulders above everyone else, which makes me wonder if that is hampering him at the same time.

“He’s the complete player in that position and has made it look easy, but maybe he’s not been challenged enough and then, like a cricketer being done by a slower ball, he’s come unstuck.

“If you’ve not been worrying about forwards troubling you, sometimes you drop your guard a fraction. It’s a natural human thing.” 

Van Dijk has been called out

Campbell then went on to compare Van Dijk to some of the Premier League’s greatest ever defenders and questioned if the Liverpool man has the same quality. 

“It would be interesting to see if Van Dijk would have stood out had he been playing in our time when there were lots of great centre-halves: me, John Terry, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Jamie Carragher, Kolo Toure, Jaap Stam.

“It’d be interesting to see how he’d fit in with all these guys. And we had Robbie Fowler, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Michael Owen, Alan Shearer, Duncan Ferguson all coming at us. 

Van Dijk's place amongst the greats has been questioned

“They were quick, strong, tall, skillful… every week you got tested. I reckon Van Dijk would be OK, he’d cope with that, but it would be interesting to watch. He’d certainly be under pressure.” 

After a number of recent mistakes, Campbell isn’t the only one who has questioned Van Dijk. No doubt, the debate between him and Nemanja Vidic will rumble on though…