Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen agree Virgil van Dijk is ‘getting worse and worse’
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Former Premier League stars Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen were in agreement over Virgil van Dijk’s struggles as Liverpool limped out of the Champions League.
On Wednesday night, Liverpool knew they needed a miracle after their embarrassing 5-2 defeat at Anfield in the first leg by Real Madrid.
At the Bernabeu, Jurgen Klopp’s men produced a flat performance as they crashed out of the Champions League with a whimper thanks to Karim Benzema’s goal which made it 1-0 on the night, 6-2 on aggregate.
Speaking about the 31-year-old’s form, Ferdinand said on BT Sport: “I think there are phases in your career where things don’t go to plan. But you look at the great centre-halves in years gone by, John Terry, Jaap Stam, Vidic, Kompany, Sol Campbell...the list goes on.
“I don’t remember those having a season off, or big periods of the season where they had eight or nine games where they were struggling. But the form of the team has an affect on that. That’s the one thing I will say, sometimes you need a team performing around you, and he hasn’t had a team performing around him in a way that would suit his style of play.”
Virgil van Dijk:— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) March 15, 2023
“In my time at Liverpool with the games we've played against Real Madrid, I've never won against them, so it's always something that we wanted to do – we wanted to win.” #lfc [lfc] pic.twitter.com/gqVej6CE9b
Whilst former Liverpool striker Owen added: “Especially in this team, because when Liverpool are playing well, they (the defence) don’t really have much to do. When they are pressing from the front, how many times did you see Liverpool winning the ball up the top?
“But the problem is that they leave themselves exposed, we all know that, so it’s a difficult place and position to play if your team is not playing well. He is getting exposed all the time at the moment, one-v-one. Because he is not dealing with it well, and it’s getting worse and worse and worse. When Liverpool are playing well, you don’t even notice that because he just mops everything up and he rarely gets called upon.”
Liverpool will now have a 16-day break before they return to action against Manchester City on April 1.
Featured Image Credit: BT Sport/PA
Topics: Liverpool, Real Madrid, Virgil Van Dijk, Football, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen