With the new Premier League season soon to begin, journalist Theo Squires has claimed a returning Liverpool star could make a huge impact upon the team.
The club really felt his absence last season, as they finished 17 points behind Premier League winners Manchester City. However, the defender’s comeback could see Liverpool vastly improve this season.
Indeed, talking on the Blood Red: Liverpool FC YouTube channel, Squires claimed: “Liverpool have had players like this [Van Dijk] in the past where they just get that extra 10% from everyone around them, even when they’re not at 100%.
“You think of Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres when he was at his very best, Luis Suarez.
“Yeah, it’s a bit different when it’s a centre-back, but you know Virgil van Dijk is going to have that impact, because losing him also had that impact, this negative effect.
“But you think, when you’re seeing him next to you, if you’re a centre-back, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced Joel Matip, or if you’re Rhys Williams, any of the kids – he makes such a difference.”
TIF Thoughts on Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool…
If Squires is right, though, and Van Dijk’s return can boost the team by that extra 10%, then Liverpool may well be amongst the contenders for this season’s Premier League title.
Therefore, it could be argued that Liverpool’s hopes of silverware this season rest on the fitness of Van Dijk, although the Reds have at least acquired Ibrahima Konate as a potential fill-in – something they didn’t have in abundance last year – should the Dutchman’s comeback not go to plan.