Andy Townsend has claimed Virgil van Dijk wasn’t trying his hardest last season, with the Liverpool defender struggling at times for the Reds.

Speaking on TalkSport, the pundit suggested that the Dutch international wasn’t at his best, alongside many other members of the Liverpool squad as Jurgen Klopp’s side finished fifth in the Premier League table.

Townsend said on Van Dijk: “I think there were times last year when he wasn’t at his absolute best. Last year it looked like he was coasting at times a little bit, and I think everybody had just come off the gas a little bit at Liverpool.”

Former Aston Villa Owner Doug Ellis' Funeral
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Having missed out on UEFA Champions League football, there is a big expectation from Liverpool from supporters to deliver this season, with Van Dijk set to play a huge role for the club.

The defender has this summer been named the new captain of Liverpool after Jordan Henderson’s move to Saudi Arabia, and Van Dijk will be aware that his game needs to return to it’s best for the new campaign.

Indeed, Liverpool will be aiming for a top-four finish at a minimum after last season’s failures, and Van Dijk returning to his best will be huge in Klopp’s side competing for silverware and a Champions League spot.

Van Dijk can help Liverpool return to their best next season

Van Dijk Liverpool
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It would be an understatement to say that Van Dijk’s poor performances last season had an impact on Liverpool’s overall results. Which is why the defender returning to his best will help the Reds in more ways than one.

When in form, no defender in the world can come close to Van Dijk’s level of quality on the pitch, and Klopp will be hoping that the centre-back back can return to his incredible standards for the new season.

Although performances in pre-season haven’t set the world alight, Van Dijk can get back to his best in the new season, with the defender’s form instrumental to how Liverpool perform in all competitions.

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