Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk has claimed that Manchester City forward Erling Haaland is going to be ‘horrible’ to play against this season.
Liverpool kept Haaland largely quiet in Saturday’s Community Shield victory. But in quotes from The Times, Van Dijk has insisted that the Norwegian is going to be a handful for Premier League defences.
“He will make defenders’ lives in England horrible,” said the Dutchman. “Because he is so direct, he has everything, he can head the ball, he is quick; today we kept him at bay. He had one chance, maybe two chances, but other than that we did well together.
“I’m not going to give him too much advice but I think he will know he has to focus on his own game and not worry about what others have to say.”
Virgil still the very best around
There was some worry heading into the game from Liverpool’s point of view. Both Alisson Becker and Caoimhin Kelleher were injured. As a result, third-choice goalie Adrian would be the man facing Haaland on his City debut.
As it happened, Liverpool fans needn’t have cared. Adrian made a couple of decent saves, and Haaland had a decidedly off day.
Also, to worry about the goalkeeper is to conveniently forget that Liverpool posses a defender as good as Van Dijk.
Haaland may very well be the best striker on the planet one day. Perhaps he’s still got a little way to go in that respect, though. In Van Dijk, Liverpool undoubtedly have the best in his field, bar none.
Shackling Haaland in the way that he did is yet more evidence of this undisputed fact of life.
Of course he had help, and on another day the striker could easily have scored. But he didn’t. As Virgil points out, there won’t be too many defences in the country that manage to stop Haaland from finding the net this season and beyond.
If Van Dijk is in the side whenever The Reds face their title nemesis’, it will drastically improve Liverpool’s chances of doing so.