Virgil van Dijk hasn’t exactly enjoyed the easiest start to life at Liverpool.
After a fairytale debut that saw him score the winning goal in the Merseyside derby, the Dutchman has become embroiled in a sticky run of form for the Reds. Their victory over Manchester City has been followed by bitter defeats to Swansea City, West Brom and a gutting draw with Tottenham.
In five games for Liverpool so far, Van Dijk has conceded nine goals, failed to pick up a single clean sheet and given away a penalty.
JAMIE CARRAGHER CALLS OUT VAN DIJK FOR HIS PHYSIQUE
“I think it will prove to be a great signing, but he hasn’t hit the ground running,” the Sky Sports pundit remarked.
“I think he needs to get fit and lose a bit of weight. He actually looks too big. Maybe that’s to do with not having a pre-season.”
No messing about. The comments certainly received a backlash and Jurgen Klopp immediately responded the next day by stating: “Wow! I’m sure Jamie could lose a little bit of weight but I think Virgil is a big and tall player. No-one came with me and said we need to work with him.”
And now the man himself has waded into the drama with an equally defiant answer of his own as Carragher’s theory continues to fall by the wayside.
VAN DIJK FINALLY RESPONDS TO THE CLAIMS
The Dutchman offered: “He needs to come into the dressing room and he can see if I need to lose some weight because I don’t think I need to lose some weight! I have been out for 8 months – last January until September really and I didn’t play at Premier League level.”
He’s practically called you out there, Jamie!
At this point we can probably safely assume that Van Dijk is, in fact, in decent shape and his slow start to life at Anfield isn’t a product of his physicality.
For his defensive talent, though, it’s clear that something must change for him to justify his £75 million price tag and solve Liverpool’s seemingly immovable defensive flaws.