Jordan Pickford problem on Virgil van Dijk within the 2020 Merseyside derby (Picture: Getty)
Danny Murphy believes that Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has not been the identical participant since his prolonged ACL harm.
This dominated him out for the remainder of the season, and the 31-year-old wouldn’t return to the pitch till the beginning of the next marketing campaign, with Liverpool struggling numerous defensive woes in his absence.
Whereas he helped the Reds attain the cusp of a quadruple of trophies final season, being named within the PFA Workforce of the 12 months within the course of, ex-Liverpool midfielder Murphy claims Van Dijk is but to return to the height of his powers, particularly in gentle of the membership’s poor begin to the brand new season.
Liverpool have received simply two of their opening six video games, and for essentially the most half have seemed pretty lacklustre, protecting simply two clear sheets.
‘He’s less than his degree. Earlier than his harm he was arguably wanting like top-of-the-line centre-halves we’ve ever seen,’ Murphy stated on talkSPORT.
‘The harm, which is a large one and he’s come again from, though he’s not had issues in lacking video games, I feel psychologically he’s not in the identical place. What I imply by that isn’t desirous to be as bodily engaged with gamers and tackles.
Van Dijk injured his ACL and was out for 9 months (Picture: Getty)
‘He’s taking part in inside himself a bit bit and defending himself a bit bit with out realizing it. I’ve performed with gamers who’ve had ACL accidents earlier than and once they come again you possibly can see them doing it.
‘I feel there’s possibly a bit little bit of staying out of hassle. You possibly can argue the way in which he performs he doesn’t get himself in that a lot hassle anyway.
‘However there may be at all times that factor at the back of your thoughts while you’ve had a foul harm, I feel.’
Van Dijk and Liverpool have endured a tricky begin to the brand new season (Picture: Getty)
In fact, Liverpool’s woes can hardly be blamed solely on an underperforming Van Dijk, with Jurgen Klopp’s facet at the moment suffering from accidents, with no-less than eight gamers on the sidelines together with Thiago Alcantara, Ibrahima Konate and Jordan Henderson.
The shortage of those gamers has actually harm, and issues aren’t anticipated to get any simpler with the fixtures coming thick and quick, with Wednesday’s journey to Napoli for the beginning of the Champions League subsequent on the agenda.
However Murphy is assured that prime Van Dijk, who narrowly completed as runner-up for the 2019 Ballon d’or, will return, including: ‘We’re once more speaking about somebody who has set ridiculously excessive requirements and even when he’s dropping beneath them in the mean time, he’s nonetheless sensible in comparison with a number of different centre-halves.
‘Nevertheless it simply looks like he’s inside himself and I don’t know if he even is aware of why himself, generally you possibly can simply fall right into a entice.
‘I don’t suppose it helps having regularly totally different centre-halves, I don’t suppose it helps that Fabinho in entrance of him hasn’t been at his greatest both and while you’ve bought him, Henderson and Thiago in entrance of you dictating play you then’re defending much less.
‘It’s one other case of the cream rising to the highest, he’ll be again.’
For extra tales like this, check our sport page.