“Liverpool will be a different animal with” €87million monster as Reds target second Premier League title

Paul Merson says that Virgil van Dijk returning to the side will make Liverpool like a ‘different animal’ as he gets set for his first start in 255 days.

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that the Dutchman is in contention to start against Hertha BSC on Thursday which will be his first appearance since October.

As we all know, van Dijk suffered an ACL rupture due to a terrible challenge by Jordan Pickford but after surgery and successful rehab, he is close to full fitness.

UNSPECIFIED, AUSTRIA - JULY 25: (THE SUN OUT. THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Naby Keita of Liverpool with Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool during a training session on July 25, 2021 in UNSPECIFIED, Austria. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED, AUSTRIA – JULY 25: (THE SUN OUT. THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Naby Keita of Liverpool with Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool during a training session on July 25, 2021 in UNSPECIFIED, Austria. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Now, Paul Merson has written for the Daily Star that van Dijk returning for Liverpool could transform them back into the beast they were before his injury.

“Liverpool will be a different animal with Virgil Van Dijk back. He gets them pushed up and playing on the halfway line,” he wrote in the Daily Star.

“Last season was a wake-up call for them and they will be massive contenders this time around.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrate victory after the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United at Anfield on January 19, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JANUARY 19: Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrate victory after the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United at Anfield on January 19, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“I think they will sign players too, and the front three will be fresher. They will have a point to prove.”

Liverpool signed van Dijk from Southampton in 2018 for £75million (€87m) and he has since gone on to establish himself as the best central defender on the planet.

Not having him available last season was crippling and not just because of his incredible defensive abilities.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool scores his team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield on September 12, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Paul Ellis – Pool/Getty Images)

The 30-year-old is such a valuable leader and when Jordan Henderson was out injured, Jurgen Klopp’s side didn’t have the same on-pitch leadership anymore.

Having the former Celtic monster back is going to make such a big difference as Liverpool look to bounce back and win the Premier League again.

His aerial prowess, 1v1 defensive ability and spatial awareness will be so good to have back after almost a full season without him.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

LATEST ARTICLES

Jurgen Klopp has found a new way to win games and it makes them stronger than ever – opinion

Jordan Henderson's strike against AC Milan was more than just a timely winner in Liverpool's opening Champions League game, it was a reminder that...

Liverpool in pole position to sign stunning player that won three penalties in one Champions League game

According to Mundo Deportivo, Liverpool are in pole position to sign Karim Adeyemi from RB Salzburg. While Harvey Elliott may have been operating as a...

Chelsea flew €30million LFC target to London for talks two years ago as Reds eye January move for speed demon

Karim Adeyemi is reportedly a target for Liverpool but, according to the Express, Chelsea flew him to London for talks two years ago but...

Photo: Fans spot £77,000/week Liverpool star Jurgen Klopp left out of Leeds United squad on TV

Divock Origi was left out of Liverpool's squad to face Leeds but amid all the commotion following Harvey Elliott's ankle injury, he was spotted...

90% pass accuracy, 2 chances created, 1 assist, 10/11 duels won –  £25m ace was sensational against Leeds United

Thiago Alcantara was absolutely phenomenal against Leeds United after being given a start ahead of Jordan Henderson and his control helped the Reds on...