‘I hate to say it’: Alan Pardew says £220,00-a-week Liverpool player strolls around at times, lacks fire
Alan Pardew has given his verdict on Liverpool central defender Virgil van Dijk after watching him in action against Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
The former Newcastle United manager and talkSPORT pundit has noted a problem with Van Dijk.
So, what has Alan Pardew said about Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk? Let’s take a look.
Alan Pardew critical of Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk
Well, Alan Pardew was not impressed by the defensive display produced by Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League this past weekend.
Van Dijk was involved in a defensive mix-up with Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson that led to Gabriel Martinelli’s goal in the second half. The Reds lost the match in North London.
Former West Ham United manager Pardew thinks that Van Dijk can take it too easy at times and strolls around, something that he thinks is a problem.
Pardew said about Van Dijk on talkSPORT (7:16 pm, February 4, 2024): “If we go back to day’s performance, Van Dijk as captain, now and again he has these games where he kinds of looks, I hate to say it, he kinds of looks in that Dutch kind of strolling around mode. It looked like he needed a bit of fire in him today.”
My View: Virgil van Dijk will not change now
In my opinion, Liverpool and Netherlands international central defender Virgil van Dijk is not going to change now.
Yes, Van Dijk does not seem fazed by anything or any occasion and looks very calm and cool, but that is how he is. Just because the £220,000-a-week (Spotrac) Dutchman does not look intense does not mean he is not.
Van Dijk is 32 now. The Liverpool centre-back has been like this all his career. At this stage, we should not expect the former Celtic star to change.
True, the defender could have done better for Gabriel Martinelli’s goal for Arsenal, but there have been some very good signs this season that he is getting back to his best.
Van Dijk is one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League, and, in my opinion, Liverpool are a better team with him in it.