£75million colossus makes Liverpool Premier League title favourites

Virgil van Dijk returning to full fitness will make Liverpool Premier League title favourites and his return is more important than any new arrivals.

The fact that Liverpool went from winning the title on 99 points to finishing third on 69 points without the Dutchman should see this article end here.

That’s a 30-point swing and while there were other factors including poor finishing, a myriad of injuries and the overall effect of COVID-19 on squad stamina, his return is a massive boost.

Southampton demanded Liverpool pay £75million for his signature and the fact that a club as frugal as the Reds spent that much money should just tell you how good he is.

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)

Manchester United signing Jadon Sancho is a major concern for Liverpool and the Red Devils’ other rivals and if they get Raphael Varane they will be further strengthened but Jurgen Klopp will sleep comfortably knowing he will once again have the best centre-back in the world available to him.

In the 2018/19 season, van Dijk narrowly missed out on winning the Balon d’Or but cemented his place in European folklore with an incredible season at the back for the Reds.

That season, he did win the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, the Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year, Liverpool’s Player of the Year and of, course, PFA Player of the Year.

Liverpool's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk poses with his trophies of Best Men's player in Europe of the Year and Best Defender at the end of the UEFA Champions League football group stage draw ceremony in Monaco on August 29, 2019.
Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk poses with his trophies of Best Men’s player in Europe of the Year and Best Defender at the end of the UEFA Champions League football group stage draw ceremony in Monaco on August 29, 2019. (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool will be monitoring his progress closely as they don’t want to overwork his knee after he underwent surgery on an ACL rupture last year October.

That said, a source close to Liverpool’s media team on tour with the Reds in Austria says the Dutchman is training hard with little to no issue.

On day one, he did have minor swelling but a number of Liverpool’s long term absentees had similar issues, including Joel Matip and Joel Gomez.

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

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