Van Dijk was missing
Since arriving at Anfield, Virgil van Dijk has been one of Liverpool’s most valuable assets.
The center-back, along with Alisson, helped turn a dysfunctional defense into one of the best in Europe, winning the Premier League and Champions League in the process.
However, the Reds would lose their Starstopper for much of the 2020-21 season when it clashed with Jordan Pickford in October.
The Dutchman had to undergo knee surgery and was banned for the remainder of the domestic season and Euro 2020.
However, this is the first time we’ve seen the center-back on the pitch since his injury.
Liverpool met Hertha Berlin in a friendly in preparation on Thursday evening and VVD played 20 minutes.
Carragher returns to Van Dijk
So Liverpool fans will no doubt hope that Van Dijk will be back in action on the opening weekend against Norwich. And in return, watch Liverpool’s backline become the solid force it was when they won their first Premier League title in 2019-20.
However, when Van Dijk is fully fit again, Jamie Carragher sent a warning about VVD.
The ex-Liverpool defender stated that Liverpool need to be careful with the center-back and that we shouldn’t expect Liverpool to automatically win the league in 2021/22 just because Van Dijk is back:
“I think we have to be careful and I think Jürgen Klopp will be.
“I don’t think we should expect Virgil van Dijk to return to Liverpool and Liverpool automatically win the league again this season.
“He’s had a really bad injury and needs to make sure he’s not pushed back. When he’s back to his best he’ll be the best center-back in world football and that’s what Liverpool will want for the next five or six years, not the next five or six weeks.
“If he doesn’t make the first game of the season, it’s not the end of the world. It’s about making sure Virgil van Dijk is 100 percent right so he can have the next five or six years with him.” Liverpool at its best.
“It may be a smooth start with Virgil until we see him if he’s 100 percent right, but if that could be this first game of the season and he can play the next few, everyone would be happy.”
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