Sport “I am not a robot”: Van Dijk sends message to sceptics
Van Dijk highlights ‘big challenge’ facing in-form Liverpool starlet
"Obviously in the last couple of games, he's shown that he has the quality to be there and is doing well."The 20-year-old made his Premier League debut for Liverpool during the 2019/20 season. He established himself as a regular the year after as he played 34 times across all competitions.
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk knows “there are a lot of eyes” on his performances after recovering from a serious injury and admits he has “work to do” to get back to his very best.
It is exactly a year to the day since the Netherlands captain was given the diagnosis by a specialist he would require an operation on an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his right knee, after a challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby, and his season was over.
"Best centre-back that Norwich City have had" – Journalist makes interesting Van Dijk comparison
Daniel Farke could have Norwich's very own Virgil van Dijk at Carrow RoadThe Canaries have improved slightly following the Turkish international's loan arrival from Schalke and kept their first clean sheet in the Premier League at Burnley last time out.
After a full pre-season the Dutchman has played every minute of all eight Premier League matches so far, although he was rested for two Champions League ties against AC Milan and Porto as managerwas cautious not to overload his defensive linchpin.
boss may not have that option against LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night but Van Dijk is confident there is still more to come from him.
“I know there are a lot of eyes pointing in my direction, wondering ‘Is he going to be back in the same way’,” he said.
“They were already before but will be now even more, but it’s something I’m not thinking about. The only thing I can do is try my best each and every game.
“Everybody knows how difficult it is to come back from a knee injury. I don’t think there are a lot of examples of players who had an ACL and complex knee injury that gets back to his best after a year.
“I feel like I am improving. I have work to do but I don’t think about what others have to say or judge.
“The only thing to get there is to play games, to get better, to get more confident in the things you do, get back to normal things.
“I am not a robot. I’m my own biggest critic and I know exactly when I can do better.
“How I see it is to just improve as much as I can and I’m fairly confident in the way I see things.
“I’m playing at the highest level again, playing with a lot of joy, so far it is going in the right way and I am feeling fine but there is always room for improvement.”
Player ratings: Salah, Keita 9; Maguire, Shaw, Pogba 2 .
Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah feasted on gifts from Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and co as Liverpool hammered Man Utd 5-0. Here's how each player didYou have to feel for the Manchester United goalkeeper, who was left badly exposed by his defence. He made a couple of good stops to keep out Firmino and Salah but could do little about the goals, with his team-mates allowing Liverpool to run riot.