Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk switched to a new position midway through the Netherlands win over Greece last night.
And according to Dutch outlet AD, Van Dijk had a decent game, including an interesting change in position.
Following Nathan Ake’s substitution, Virgil reportedly ‘took over’ his left-sided position in the Netherlands’ back three.
Forever in the middle of Ronald Koeman’s trio of centre-backs, this was new for the Liverpool man. However, given the 3-0 scoreline at the time, Van Dijk was said to be untroubled by the switch, with Greece already well beaten.
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Van Dijk changes role
This may not be a huge change for Van Dijk, but there is a fair difference to playing in the middle or on the left of a back three.
It’s also interesting from a Liverpool point of view, given the debate around bringing in a left-sided centre-back.
Of course, ever since arriving at Anfield in 2018, Van Dijk has played on the left for the Reds. But with Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s new inverted role at right full-back, plenty of Liverpool fans have been calling out for a player like Ake who can play left centre-back, as well as full-back.
With the best will in the world, Van Dijk doesn’t look like being that player. The 32-year-old is a picture-perfect centre-back, he shouldn’t be asked to play any other role.
Nevertheless, perhaps it’ll be good for Liverpool for the big man to get some familiarity with the position.
There’s no suggestion right now that Jurgen Klopp is going to change from a back two to a back three. But with a new starting defender on the agenda for next summer, maybe this is something the manager is thinking about long-term.
As he ticks into the autumn of his career, picking up some new tricks can’t harm Virgil.