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Virgil Van Dijk Is 'No Rio Ferdinand Or Vincent Kompany' And Branded 'Arrogant'

Ryan Sidle

Published 

Virgil Van Dijk Is 'No Rio Ferdinand Or Vincent Kompany' And Branded 'Arrogant'

Featured Image Credit: PA

Virgil van Dijk has been branded as 'arrogant' by former Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor, after the Liverpool defender's mistakes against Leeds United.

The Reds were far from their best as they got their title defence underway against Championship champions Leeds on Saturday.

Whilst Mohamed Salah's late penalty earned Jurgen Klopp's team all three points they were pegged back on three occasions in the match, in the 4-3 win, with Van Dijk guilty of making a few errors.

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After the match the Dutchman came in for a lot of criticism, with former Villa man Agbonlahor claiming the defender's performance was arrogant. "Everyone knows Virgil van Dijk is an unbelievable defender," the 33-year-old told talkSPORT.

"On the ball he can switch the diagonals, and defensively no one wants to come up against him.

"But I felt yesterday's performance was, from Van Dijk, arrogant; that flick he made in the goal he gave away, it felt like 'we are playing Leeds United, it's going to be an easy game and I can let my standards drop.'

"And in that game, he did [let his standards drop].

"Even Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right was poor defensively as well."

Agbonlahor, who played for 13 seasons for Villa, making nearly 400 appearances, also claimed that, whilst Van Dijk was an excellent defender, the former Southampton defender isn't on the same level as former Premier League greats Rio Ferdinand and Vincent Kompany.

"Van Dijk is a great defender, and he will be one of the greatest defenders to ever play the game," the former striker added, "But when people start putting him in the Vincent Kompany and Rio Ferdinand bracket...

"I think people forget how good certain players were as time goes by. People forget how good Rio Ferdinand was in his prime; you wouldn't even want to go on the same side of the pitch as him!

"It was the same with Kompany, and John Terry as well; you just wouldn't want to take them on as you'd have no chance.

"Virgil van Dijk is an amazing defender, but you can't put him in that category of Rio Ferdinand and Vincent Kompany yet."

Van Dijk struggled in defence against Leeds. Image: PA Images
Van Dijk struggled in defence against Leeds. Image: PA Images

Despite struggling at the back Van Dijk did help Liverpool pick up the three points, scoring the Reds' second of the game on 20 minutes, heading home from a corner.

He may have had a second goal in the same way at 3-3 but there was a foul on Leeds debutant Robin Koch in the build up.

After 18 months of near perfection from the 29-year-old centre back it certainly was a rare off day for him at the back and Liverpool's defence were all as bad as him.

In the end it'll just be the three points that matters, but Leeds came a bit too close for comfort from a Liverpool perspective.

Topics: Liverpool, John Terry, Football News, Premier League, Leeds United, Virgil Van Dijk, Vincent Kompany, Mohamed Salah

Ryan Sidle
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