“Out of this world” – Watch Jamie Carragher believes brilliant Liverpool man is now back to his best after Ajax game
Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk is back to his best after a commanding performance against Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday.
At the beginning of this season, Van Dijk has drawn criticism for a few performances that weren’t up to pace and added to the Reds’ patchy form.
The Dutchman received criticism for stepping off players like Jadon Sancho and Wilfried Zaha early in the season, which led to goals being conceded.
This kind of mediocre defending was uncharacteristic of a man who had recently been hailed as the best center-back in the world.
However, Sky Sports analyst and former Liverpool defender Carragher thinks that in Jurgen Klopp’s team’s 2-1 win against Ajax in midweek, the 31-year-old reverted to his ruthless best.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Carragher said:
“They have had injuries and three of four players- who have been outstanding- have not been playing at their best.
“Maybe Virgil Van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, maybe Fabinho in midfield, Mo Salah, these players have been out of this world for four or five years and they haven’t been at their best at the start of this season, but that is allowed, it is normal.”
“They are only human. We have all been there as players.”
“Criticism does spike you. You saw a huge turnaround in Liverpool’s performance (against Ajax). Individually, Van Dijk was back to his best.
“If he wants to bite back at whoever that might be- I might be one of them or it might be someone else- but I think Virgil Van Dijk has had more pats on the back in the last five years in the Premier League.
“Maybe only Kevin De Bruyne in terms of classing them as the two best players in the league and in the world in their positions.
So, he has done well out of not getting too much criticism in his career. There are people a lot worse off than him.”
Joel Matip’s header in the 89th minute gave Liverpool their first three points in Group A of the premier competition in Europe as they battled valiantly against the Dutch team in a dominant performance.
After losing 4-1 to Napoli last week in Southern Italy, the Merseyside team needed the outcome badly.
Van Dijk did indeed put up a strong display, and Klopp will be anxious for his finest defender to continue to command the center of the Liverpool defense after the international break.