Liverpool supporters in the Transfer Tavern have been in fine voice in recent times after seeing their side record a fourth successive victory to kick-off the 2018/19 Premier League season.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their clash with Leicester City on Saturday off the back of beating West Ham, Crystal Palace, and Brighton in their first three matches, thus propelling them to the summit of the division. And the Reds remain there four games in as first half goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino set them on their way to all three points, and although Rachid Ghezzal got one back for the Foxes after the break, it wasn’t enough to end Liverpool’s 100% start to the new season.
As such, there have been many thrilled Liverpudlians up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be interested in recent comments from pundit Paul Merson on Sky Sports’ The Debate show on Monday night, in which he said of defender Virgil van Dijk that ‘he just looks world class’.
And the ex-midfielder is absolutely spot on to describe the Netherlands international in that way, as there is little doubting just how influential he has been to Klopp’s side since his arrival back in January.
Ultimately, the main criticism labelled at the Merseyside giants during the first half of last season was their defensive vulnerabilities, with many feeling that the Reds would not challenge for the title until they solidified at the back.
And they certainly made a statement of intent by splashing out £75 million on Southampton’s van Dijk at the turn of the year, and it appears to have paid dividends as Klopp’s side have certainly been better at the back following his arrival, and as such could well contend for the title this time round.
In the second half of last season, the Reds shipped just 14 goals in the 17 league games following the Dutchman’s arrival on January 1, and they have conceded only once so far in their four league matches this term – that’s the influence world class players have.
Significantly, his addition appears to have got the best out of the rest of the backline, what with full backs Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold excelling in the second half of last season, as did centre back partner Dejan Lovren, who then helped his country reach the World Cup final.
And with Joe Gomez playing some of the best football of his career alongside van Dijk in the early stage of this season, the 27-year-old’s authority cannot be understated – he really is a world class centre back.
And with Liverpool playing as well as they have done in many a year at the back in recent times, Merson is absolutely spot on to describe the £180,000-a-week ace (as per Spotrac) as ‘world class’.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!