The Dutchman has recovered from a long-term injury and is already showing signs that he is at his best again
Football is “just too easy” for Virgil van Dijk, says former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson, who believes that the ‘Rolls-Royce’ of a midfielder also gets the best out of his defensive teammates.
Van Dijk is back in the heart of Liverpool’s defense after recovering from a serious knee injury that caused him to miss most of last season.
The 30-year-old already looks back to his best condition after helping the Merseysiders start the campaign unbeaten as they try to regain the Manchester City Premier League title.
What did Lawrenson say?
Lawrenson says Van Dijk’s match is comparable to that of his former teammate Alan Hansen, who won 25 major honors during a brilliant career at Anfield in the 1970s and 1980s.
“The game is easy for him,” Lawrenson said. Off the ball. “It was like when Hansen played, it was just too easy.
‘He never got his kit dirty, it was like’ what’s your problem? ‘if you were covered in blood and snot and everything, and he would just walk away and basically give his kit to the kit man and tell him he did not have to wash it this week.
“Everyone goes on about Van Dijk and Hansen being the closest I can think of to being comparable.”
Van Dijk has ‘fantastic’ effect on Matip
Lawrenson also believes that Van Dijk’s return has a positive effect on his central defensive partner Joel Matip, while the duo maintains clean sheets in victories over Norwich and Burnley, before last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea.
Both players have missed much of the past season due to injury, and their absence is considered one of the main reasons why the Reds were unable to retain their title.
“He’s a Rolls-Royce midfielder,” added Lawrenson, who made 356 appearances for Liverpool between 1981 and 1988. “He also has such a fantastic effect on Joel Matip. Matip is a much better player to play with. You would be, but the thing about Joel Matip when he plays with Van Dijk is that he comes out and plays.
“He comes out and joins the midfield and commits members of the opposition, which is very good.
“I do not think Matip particularly likes football, I do not think he enjoys it, but it is something he is very good at, but he is really good if he has Van Dijk with him.”