Jamie Carragher insists that despite his belief that Virgil van Dijk will prove to be a good buy for Liverpool, the Dutchman needs to get into peak fitness.
The 26-year-old signed from Southampton for £75 million, a world record fee for a defender. On his debut for Liverpool, van Dijk scored at the Kop End to knock Everton out of the FA Cup in the Third Round.
Since that exhilarating debut, however, he has been a part of a Liverpool side that lost back to back games as Swansea and West Brom sunk the Reds.
Although the Dutchman showed glimpses of why he cost the club so much money, he is clearly not settled yet and Jamie Carragher insists he is not fully fit, claiming he needs to lose some weight.
“I think it will prove to be a great signing,” Carragher said. “But he hasn’t hit the ground running.
“I think he needs to get fit and lose a bit of weight. He actually looks too big. Maybe that’s to do with not having a pre-season, not playing too many games for Southampton.”
Before he eventually signed for Liverpool, van Dijk only played 11 games for Saints this season, meaning he will need to work hard to reach full fitness.
As he was left on the bench for the Huddersfield game, Klopp pointed out that his new defensive lieutenant is still adapting physically.
Many fans and pundits have discussed how the signing of van Dijk has been balanced out – both financially and on the pitch – by the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £142 million.
Jamie Carragher is looking forward to seeing how this balance is put into place and said on Sky Sports: “That’s the big debate.
“You’re taking attacking players from Liverpool and adding defensive strength they lacked, and giving them a bit more balance, but what will work out in the end?”
Well? What do you think, Reds? Will selling Coutinho and signing van Dijk give Liverpool some much-need balance and stability?