There’s a reason why Liverpool have only conceded 15 goals- the tied lowest in the European top five leagues- so far this season.
The reason is Virgil Van Dijk, who’s been an impenetrable force in the Reds defence, helping them lodge a very realistic title challenge.
However, as he keeps on churning out one clean-sheet after another, Liverpool’s issues in the attacking department, seeing them fall to second place as the goals and general creativity dry up at the most crucial time.
Indeed, van Dijk definitely doesn’t deserve to be second. He’s been a revelation for the Reds, who were infamous for leaking goals before he arrived and has largely established himself as the best central defender currently playing the game.
After settling into Liverpool, he’s become his side’s general in defence, ousting one side after another with his rock-solid work. Not only has he helped them keep 17 clean sheets in 29 games, the Dutchman has often saved Liverpool from disaster, while also contributing on the attacking front.
In the Merseyside Derby, he produced another masterclass in defending. Not only did he keep the Reds’ rival attackers at bay, but he also made 13 clearances, 3 interceptions and won 12 aerial duels (stats via Fotmob). He even delivered in the attack, laying a goal on a plate for Fabinho to scuff it from yards out.
The Liverpool defender’s response from the miss spoke for itself.
While he’s showing more bravery and guts than anyone else as Liverpool’s season gets tougher, even he’ll feel frustration at not being able to win the title this season.
He’ll probably be as unluckily as Luiz Suarez in 2013/14 if Liverpool scuffs it, upon which Van Dijk’s heroics will cruelly be undermined by the mockery.