The injury to Virgil van Dijk could have a positive long-term effect on three Liverpool players, in particular. The Dutchman will be out for some time.
Virgil van Dijk is about the last player Liverpool wanted to lose to injury. Despite that, this could have a positive effect on some teammates.
There’s little doubt that Van Dijk is the lynchpin of the defence and, arguably the best defender in the world. And that all carries a reputation. It’ll even carry a reputation among his teammates.
Primarily, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson. The trio have been a huge part of Liverpool’s title win and their fantastic defence. But just how much is down to Van Dijk?
Well, we’re about to find out. Gomez and Robertson, in particular, have played nearly every game with Van Dijk next to them. They’ve got him there to lead the defence, to cover them, and as a constant passing option.
Subscribe to Rousing The Kop TV now
He won’t be there this season and those two will have to find a way to keep the defence tight without him.
But that could improve them as players, potentially significantly. With good fortune, they could be more assertive, confident players by the time Van Dijk returns.
And if he returns the same player, that means a big improvement for Liverpool’s defence as a whole. You can add Alexander-Arnold into the discussion as part of the defensive unit, too.
If those three – and presumably the more experienced Joel Matip – can form a solid defence this season, they’ll welcome Van Dijk back into a better team. And that, long-term, means great things for Liverpool.