Callum Wilson has admitted that he was delighted to see Virgil van Dijk’s goal-line clearance for Liverpool against West Ham United last week.
Van Dijk toed away a certain goal that would have put West Ham 2-1 up in the first-half. The man who he nicked it away from was none other than Michail Antonio, Wilson’s co-host of The Footballer’s Football Podcast.
Speaking on today’s episode of the show, the two players discussed the incident. Fair to say that the Newcastle United man took a slice of delight in seeing his friend’s misery.
“Virgil, mate, I don’t get how he’s managed to tap that past me at the far stick,” bemoaned Antonio. “He’s literally, Said’s [Benrahma] taken a shot, I’m sliding in at the back, I thought goal, there’s no way he’s getting this past me. I was gutted!”
“I was buzzing!” laughed Wilson. “I was like yes Virg! What a block you’ve made.”
Virgil getting back to his best
This may be just a bit of light ribbing between friends, but it’s worth bringing up just how good Van Dijk was here. The big Dutchman has come in for some criticism this season, but last week at the London Stadium was one of his better games.
Although there were some sticky moments, he more or less backed that up against Spurs on Sunday, too. Liverpool could do with conceding a bit less than they have recently, but it’s encouraging signs from Virgil.
With Ibrahima Konate being managed carefully, it’s likely that the £75m man will have a different partner for tonight’s game with Fulham.
Having also done well against West Ham, we’d expect that to be Joel Matip. But whether it’s Matip, Joe Gomez or if Konate does end up continuing, Van Dijk is the key man back there.
The 31-year-old didn’t deal especially well with Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic in the return game in August. But with the Serbian ruled out of tonight’s game through suspension, things should be more manageable. Another big performance is hopefully backed up with a clean sheet this time.
Wilson’s delight for Virgil may have been tongue-in-cheek, but ours certainly isn’t. If the Netherlands captain can rediscover something like his best form, Liverpool will be all the better for it.