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Sport Liverpool will be vulnerable without their Van Dijk security blanket

02:16  19 october  2020
02:16  19 october  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

Campbell questions whether Liverpool's van Dijk is becoming complacent

  Campbell questions whether Liverpool's van Dijk is becoming complacent Van Dijk's outstanding performances in recent seasons have seen him establish himself as one of the best players in the world. However, he was part of the Liverpool side that lost 7-2 to Aston Villa.Van Dijk's outstanding performances in recent seasons have seen him establish himself as one of the best players in the world.

The Reds will be without their talismanic centre-half in a crunch Champions League clash, with their goalkeeper feeling they have adequate cover. Liverpool are capable of containing and competing with Bayern Munich despite having Virgil van Dijk suspended, claims Alisson. The Reds are set to

Liverpool Ain't Sh*t Without Van Dijk ? Haaland To Man United | Man City's Potential Signings & More#Vlog #seasongreetings Get your very own

Virgil van Dijk, Jurgen Klopp, Virgil van Dijk are posing for a picture: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Jurgen Klopp was fidgety and frustrated and in one of those moods when it is hard to get him to engage.

The tipping point came when he was asked about Mohamed Salah scoring his 100th Liverpool goal, with a quite beautiful finish. The inquisitor’s intention was to get some kind of positivity from Klopp but this was absolutely not the moment.

‘The goal was sensational, great,’ said Klopp, with an audible sigh and little conviction. ‘But I am not in the mood. The numbers are crazy but not even Mo wants to talk about that.’

You could say Klopp’s ire stemmed from VAR denying Liverpool a last-gasp winner in the Merseyside derby but the reality was rather more serious.

Everton 2-2 Liverpool PLAYER RATINGS

  Everton 2-2 Liverpool PLAYER RATINGS Jordan Pickford was lucky to stay on the pitch, while Liverpool are still furious at the omission of a late winner courtesy of VAR. Sportsmail presents the player ratings from a busy afternoon on Merseyside ... Everton (4-3-3)Jordan Pickford - 5Lucky to escape red for his early bad foul on van Dijk and even luckier when Henderson’s “winner” was ruled out.Seamus Coleman - 5Struggled against Robertson and, clearly unfit, limped off with hamstring injury after the half hour.Yerry Mina - 6His half clearance fell for Salah for Liverpool’s second and constantly tested by the buzzing play of the Liverpool frontline.

Van Dijk will visit a specialist on Sunday as the Reds try to get a clearer picture of the defender's injury.

Without him - and hardly helped by injuries to their other centre-halves Dejan Lovren (hamstring) and Joel Matip (knee) - Liverpool looked "I don't see that happening if Van Dijk is on the pitch. "Clearly, they need him back in the team to face Flamengo - if he is fit, Liverpool will be calm and comfortable

As Klopp was dealing with these inquisitions, running through his mind was the prospect of being without Virgil van Dijk for the rest of the season.

No one man is ever bigger than the team and it would be ridiculous to say the chances of Liverpool retaining the Premier League this season disappeared when Jordan Pickford hurtled into Van Dijk in the fashion you would expect a security guard to take down a shoplifter.

But sometimes there is an injury to a key performer that can cause a team to lose their balance and nobody should be in any doubt about what Van Dijk brings to Liverpool. The supporters sing a song about him being ‘calm as you like’ and he has been their security blanket for nearly three years.

a group of people playing football on a field: Van Dijk has provided a cool head and security during Liverpool's golden era in recent years © Provided by Daily Mail Van Dijk has provided a cool head and security during Liverpool's golden era in recent years

Van Dijk has made football look effortless in that period and having him as a sentry, standing tall and firm and repelling problems, has allowed the rest of the team to progress. There is not another defender in Europe who has had such a transformative effect.

Carragher: Liverpool need January signing after Van Dijk blow

  Carragher: Liverpool need January signing after Van Dijk blow Reds legend Jamie Carragher says Jurgen Klopp needs reinforcements after Virgil van Dijk suffered a serious knee injury against Everton.The Dutchman was forced off during the first half of the Reds' 2-2 draw with Merseyside rivals Everton as a result of a late challenge from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Maybe Liverpool don't want anything out there just yet so haven't told their trusted sources. The English version would be ‘of’, so it’d be Robert of London, for instance. Van Persie is a bit of an odd Liverpool could still be in with a chance even despite this. We have enough firepower going forward

The captain of the Netherlands national side, Virgil van Dijk , suffered an injury during Saturday's match with Everton, prompting speculations about a looming operation.

Consider these numbers: Van Dijk has started 95 Premier League matches for Liverpool since they signed him from Southampton in January 2018. They have conceded just 76 goals and kept 44 clean sheets in that period.

There is more. He has been involved in 812 duels in that period and won 604 of them; Van Dijk has won 464 of the 622 headers he has contested and is second only to Patrick van Aanholt in terms of most goals from a defender. Yes, Liverpool broke the bank for him but he has repaid the investment.

The Reds were the team to beat at the start of the season but their title tilt looks at threat © Provided by Daily Mail The Reds were the team to beat at the start of the season but their title tilt looks at threat

You knew immediately, as he walked gingerly from the pitch, that something was badly wrong. The only time he’s ever needed to be substituted before was against Southampton in September 2018, when he cracked a rib, but he was back playing a week later.

‘I don’t know how many games in a row Virgil played for us,’ said Klopp. ‘He plays with pain, he plays with everything. But he couldn’t play on. That’s not cool.’

Liverpool must sign defender to replace injured Van Dijk: Carragher

  Liverpool must sign defender to replace injured Van Dijk: Carragher Liverpool must sign defender to replace injured Van Dijk: CarragherDutchman Van Dijk will have surgery for damaged ligaments sustained in Saturday's Merseyside derby draw against Everton after a challenge by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Van Dijk was taken to hospital after Saturday's dramatic 2-2 draw against Everton for a scan on his left knee following a dreadful challenge by Jordan Pickford An injury to Van Dijk would be a huge blow for Liverpool 's hopes of retaining their title. If, though, Liverpool 's club record signing has damaged

Liverpool 's desire to sign Van Dijk comes through the size of the fee, which Manchester City Their scouting system has been good - they tend to sell and make profits but eventually that will back fire. Ajay Yadaz: Liverpool signing Virgil van Dijk for £75m tells us something is wrong with modern

The only match Van Dijk has missed for Liverpool in the Premier League was a shootout with Manchester City, in January 2018, with a tight hamstring. The dark reality, however, is that he is now set for a prolonged absence that is likely to encompass the rest of the campaign.

a man standing in front of a crowd: Klopp lacks depth at centre-back and will struggle to find a way of replacing the Dutchman © Provided by Daily Mail Klopp lacks depth at centre-back and will struggle to find a way of replacing the Dutchman

Klopp made a point of saying that Joe Gomez, who replaced Van Dijk on Saturday, had an ‘exceptional’ game when he came on and there is no denying his ability. Joel Matip, too, has been reliable whenever called upon and now they must form a united front.

Both of them, nonetheless, would acknowledge how Van Dijk has helped them. When you also factor in that Alisson, Liverpool’s outstanding goalkeeper, is out until next month, there is a sense that the champions may now be vulnerable.

Points are dropped, refereeing decisions infuriate, but injuries trigger a different set of emotions in a manager. When they are as serious as the one Van Dijk has sustained, they can alter the shape of a season. No wonder Klopp was so distracted.

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Cole: Manchester City will have been 'given a lift' by van Dijk injury .
Although Liverpool won the Premier League title at a canter last season, Cole believes that City are now favourites to win the league this campaign. 1/3 SLIDES © Provided by Daily Mail Joe Cole believes Manchester City will be boosted by Virgil van Dijk's serious injury 2/3 SLIDES © Provided by Daily Mail Cole feels that Pep Guardiola's side will now have a better chance of winning the league title 3/3 SLIDES © Provided by Daily Mail Van Dijk is expected to miss the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury

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