Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp described Virgil van Dijk as the “best centre-half in the world” ahead of his side’s clash with Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Virgil van Dijk played a pivotal role in Liverpool’s Champions League triumph during the 2018-19 season and their first-ever Premier League title win the following year. The Dutch defender was, however, ruled out for the majority of last season after suffering a knee injury in the Merseyside derby against Everton in October.
Since making his return at the start of this season, Van Dijk has galvanized Liverpool’s defense. Ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League showdown with Atletico Madrid, Jurgen Klopp heaped praise on the Dutch defender.
“Virgil van Dijk is the best centre-half in the world, for sure, and thank God he’s with us. We need all our players to play the football we want to play. There was always a basic idea but the better the players get the better football you can play,” Klopp was quoted as saying by Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.
Liverpool suffered an injury crisis in defense last season as they had to make do without the likes of van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip during the second half of the campaign.
Their absences played a big role in Liverpool failing to defend their Premier League title.
The return of the trio from injury this season has been a massive boost for Klopp, whose side are currently sitting in second place in the Premier League, one point behind leaders Chelsea.
Liverpool have conceded just six goals in their opening eight games in the league this season and are the only unbeaten team.
Liverpool need to strengthen their attack to challenge the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City
Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane’s performances at the start of the season have given Liverpool supporters hope that their side will be able to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title.
Liverpool will, however, need to sign a top-quality forward in January as Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane head to their respective international teams for the Africa Cup of Nations.
The arrival of Ibrahima Konate in the summer improved Liverpool’s depth in defense. The Reds, however, lack cover in attack and Klopp should prioritize the signing of a striker in January.