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Virgil van Dijk was not Liverpool's best defender last season, says Micah Richards

Robert Worthington

| Last updated 

Virgil van Dijk was not Liverpool's best defender last season, says Micah Richards

Without Joel Matip alongside Virgil van Dijk against Crystal Palace on Monday night, Liverpool looked far less secure, and Micah Richards has thus made a surprise claim.

The former Manchester City right-back has asserted his belief that Matip is a better player than Virgil van Dijk.

Since joining Liverpool from Southampton in January 2018, van Dijk has widely been regarded to be the world’s best centre-back.

He transformed what was a leaky Liverpool backline, helping to guide trophies back to Anfield after a number of bleak years on Merseyside.


But Micah Richards isn’t convinced that van Dijk is Liverpool’s best centre-back anymore.

Richards sat down to create a combined Liverpool and Manchester City XI with Jamie Redknapp on LADBibleTV, and the pair clashed over who should form the centre-back pairing in the XI.

After Redknapp selected Ruben Dias to play alongside van Dijk in his XI, Richards responded “I think Matip has been good as well, you know?”


Richards continued “I think he’s [Matip] underrated… last season, he was arguably better than van Dijk, in my opinion.”

Redknapp fiercely rebuffed Richards’ argument, suggesting anyone would “look good next to van Dijk.”

Redknapp claims, “if you take Virgil [van Dijk] out, I think Matip would find it difficult.”

Richards is right to suggest Matip sometimes doesn’t get the plaudits he deserves at Liverpool.


He played a crucial role for the Reds last season, starting 31 league games for the Reds as they finished just a point shy of Manchester City at the top of the table.

But Redknapp’s argument that van Dijk makes Matip look like a better player is certainly well grounded too.

The Cameroonian defender has been with Liverpool since 2016 and didn’t look to be half the player he is now before van Dijk arrived at the club.

It’s always a nice problem for a club to have when they can’t decide who their best player in a specific position is due to quality depth, but in the case of Liverpool centre-backs, van Dijk sits head and shoulders above the rest.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Micah Richards, Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool, Jamie Redknapp, Joel Matip

Robert Worthington
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