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Dutch legend claims Virgil van Dijk lacks leadership skills in latest attack on struggling Liverpool star

Dutch legend claims Virgil van Dijk lacks leadership skills in latest attack on struggling Liverpool star

Van Dijk is facing increased scrutiny in the Netherlands.

Virgil van Dijk has been criticised by yet another Dutch legend, who claims the Liverpool star lacks leadership skills for his country.

Van Dijk, 31, endured one of the most difficult seasons of his career last term as Liverpool missed out on the Champions League after finishing fifth in the Premier League. The Dutch defender was forced to miss a chunk of the campaign with a serious hamstring injury and struggled to rediscover his best form after returning to the side.

He faced increased scrutiny while away on in international duty at the Nations League finals, which were hosted by the Netherlands. It ended in disappointment for the Dutch, who were beaten 4-2 by Croatia in their semi-final before losing 3-2 to Italy in the third place play-off.

Former Netherlands international Rafael van der Vaart slammed Van Dijk for his performance against Italy and his role in Federico Chiesa's winning goal for the Azzurri. "Virgil van Dijk is being criticised and rightly so," said former Real Madrid and Tottenham midfielder Van der Vaart. "For 20 minutes I thought he is back, but that moment with Chiesa.. he is basically doing nothing."

Gullit slams Van Dijk and De Jong

Van Dijk and his international teammate, Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, have now come under fire from Dutch legend Ruud Gullit.

Writing for De Telegraaf, Gullit said: "I have been looking for arguments to defend [Ronald] Koeman and the internationals in the Nations League. After all, I have also been a player and you do not like this to happen in a big football event organised in your country. After a tremendous fight, I can't defend Koeman and his players. Did you feel like going on vacation?"

The former Newcastle manager added: "Despite the fact that they are idolised by some people in the Netherlands, often to loud applause, I find that these two important players do not measure up when necessary.

"They do not reach the level that can be required of them as decisive international leaders. I think Van Dijk and De Jong don't have leadership skills. Actually, I'm asking them for something they don't have. They need more attention to their own game.

"It's difficult for a coach to work without leaders on the pitch and it's supposed to be that Van Dijk and De Jong should be those leaders."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Netherlands, Virgil Van Dijk, Football, Liverpool, Premier League

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