Virgil van Dijk shrugs after harsh criticism and points to the cause

Virgil van Dijk has not yet reached his absolute top form this season. The captain of the Dutch national team is increasingly the target of criticism in a disappointing season with Liverpool, Voetbal International reports

It has been a season to forget for his Liverpool side as the team have failed to successfully defend both the EFL Cup and FA Cup as well as struggle to establish themselves as a top four team as they sit mid-table in the Premier League table. 

Jurgen Klopp and his squad have been heavily scrutinised this season as the side tipped to play a part in the title race struggle to even fight for a place in Europe – a contrast from last season’s Champions League finalists. 

Ruud Gullit, among others, was extremely critical of Van Dijk”s performances with Gullit, who himself was captain of Orange for years, criticised the way Van Dijk and his teammates have defended this season. 

“He puts his hands behind his back and then bends his knees, the way skaters do. It’s too easy for me, too clumsy.”

Jamie Carragher also lashed out at Van Dijk as the Liverpool icon was hugely critical after the humbling his club received against Real Madrid at Anfield

“What makes me laugh is that Virgil van Dijk said a few months ago that I wouldn’t get in their back four – I think I would take his place at the moment.”

But the former Groningen defender has hit back at the criticism he has received and sees the bigger picture despite The Reds’ shortfalls. 

“I have nothing to say about that,” Van Dijk responded. The defender is not concerned with the criticism of his person. “I set high standards. People expect that of me too, so I try to reach that level.”

Van Dijk hides behind his serious knee injury that he sustained two years ago. In addition, a muscle injury after the World Cup in Qatar did him no good either. 

“When you come back from a serious injury and have just been out again for six weeks , it’s tough. The fact that I can now play three games in a row for ninety minutes is something I am proud of. I worked hard for that.”

GBeNeFN | Tom Phillips

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