Football Premier League

Ronald Koeman gives very honest opinion about Virgil van Dijk and causes a stir

Eyebrows were raised back in January when Liverpool forked out a cool £75 million on Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.

Jurgen Klopp had been chasing the Dutch centre-back for over a year and finally landed his man with Philippe Coutinho’s £142 million move to Barcelona on the verge of completion.

Ten months on from his arrival at Anfield, however, and there’s no question that Van Dijk has been worth every penny.

The 27-year-old has brought some much-needed reliability, quality and leadership to Liverpool’s back-line.

The Reds are now far more resolute and solid in defence, as a result.

However, no player is perfect and Van Dijk has made a couple of mistakes during his spell at Anfield.

His most recent error occurred on Sunday afternoon, against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, when he conceded a late penalty with a poor tackle on Leroy Sane.

Van Dijk was then the most relieved man inside the stadium after watching Riyad Mahrez send his spot-kick into Row Z, ensuring Liverpool earned a point from the top-of-the-table clash.

Liverpool FC v Manchester City - Premier League

KOEMAN GIVES HIS HONEST OPINION ABOUT VAN DIJK

Days after that mistake and Van Dijk has found himself on the receiving end of some rather interesting comments from Ronald Koeman, his international manager.

The former Everton boss has gives his honest thoughts about Van Dijk, pointing out that sometimes he’s too laid back during matches.

“I know him so well – and that means I know where all his little faults are,” Koeman was quoted as saying by the Mirror.

“Virgil has to improve. Not a lot. But sometimes he is a little too laid back. That needs to change.

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“There are moments as a defender when you should be no more than three feet away from the striker you are marking.

“And, particularly in Van Dijk’s case, because of the strength and power he has he is too laid back.

“On Monday, when he arrived in our training camp in Zeist, he could see from the look on my face that I was thinking about the foul he made when Liverpool played Man City on Sunday.

“The tackle cost his team a penalty and Virgil realised that he had made the wrong decision.

“It will not affect his chances with me. He is still my main man, but I want him to get better.”

Netherlands Training session

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