Read the latest 2022 Qatar World Cup news here.

'Minimum of fuss': Garth Crooks blown away by Liverpool star, reminds him of legend
Photo by Michael Regan - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

'Minimum of fuss': Garth Crooks blown away by Liverpool star, reminds him of legend

BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks has heaped praise on Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and named him in his Team of the Week.

The Reds star was in fine form as Liverpool defeated Aston Villa 1-0 at Anfield.

A Mohamed Salah penalty in the second half ensured victory for the former champions, although it was a less than convincing performance.

Liverpool were forced to stand firm at the back and keep out a Villa side who are vastly improved under Steven Gerrard.

Photo; Andrew Powell; Liverpool FC; Getty Images

TARGET: Agbonlahor wants Liverpool to sign sensation

Jurgen Klopp’s team did get somewhat lucky in the end. Danny Ings was perhaps unfortunate not to win a penalty following a tussle with Alisson.

Van Dijk was impressive once again for Liverpool and Crooks was beaming over his performance.

He told BBC Sport: “One of the many reasons I think Virgil van Dijk is the best defender in the world is because he does the difficult things with the minimum of fuss.

“He wins headers when strikers are backing into him and he doesn’t complain to the referee.

“He wins tackles he has no right to win and then plays one touch to set the attack in motion. It’s as if he has no wish to attract attention to himself.

“He reminds me of Alan Hansen and he wasn’t bad either!”

Van Dijk missed the majority of last season. A clash with Jordan Pickford meant that he ruptured the ACL in his knee and forced him onto the sidelines.

This season he is back and he’ll want to see Liverpool among the silverware.

Massive: Van Dijk is so important for Liverpool

It’s typically the attacking options that come in for praise but arguably Van Dijk is more important.

Last season, Liverpool’s season capitulated once the centre-back was ruled out and the hope will be that history doesn’t repeat itself this season.

Photo; OLI SCARFF; AFP; Getty Images

Van Dijk is up there with the world’s top defenders and he’s a key component to Klopp’s Liverpool team.

Liverpool have shown this season that they can blow teams away but on Saturday they showed they can win ugly too.

That was largely down to Van Dijk and that’s something that will please the boss.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know

You may also like…