Virgil Van Dijk is back to the game and is ready to face Norway in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson says football is “just too easy” for Virgil van Dijk. We have also learnt in our football news, Lawrenson believes Van Dijk’s comeback has an emphatic influence on his central defensive partner Joel Matip, as the duo kept clean sheets in wins over Norwich and Burnley, before last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea.
The Liverpool defender recently overcame knee ligament damage which he had sustained during last October’s Merseyside derby at Goodison Park due to a challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Lawrenson compared Van Dijk’s game to that of his former Liverpool teammate Alan Hansen, who won 25 major honours during a glittering Anfield career in the 1970s and 1980s. “The game’s easy to him, It was like when Hansen played, it was just too easy,” Lawrenson told Off The Ball.
“He never got his kit dirty, it was like ‘what’s your problem?’ when you’d come off covered in blood and snot and everything and he’d just walk off and basically give his kit to the kit-man and tell him he won’t need to wash it this week. Everyone keeps going on about Van Dijk and Hansen is the closest person that I can think of that’s comparable.”
“He’s a Rolls-Royce of a centre-back,” 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 playing with him, as 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 into the midfield and commits members of the opposition which is really really good. I don’t think Matip particularly likes football, I don’t think he really enjoys it but it’s just something that he’s really good at, but he’s really really good when he’s got Van Dijk beside him.”
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