Liverpool cult hero Dietmar Hamann has bemoaned the Reds’ loss of Virgil van Dijk to injury, saying he’s a big loss as Jurgen Klopp’s charges will now be without the “best centre-back in the world” at present.
The Reds were dealt a huge blow earlier this month after it was confirmed that the 29-year-old defender would require surgery on an ACL injury suffered during the Merseyside derby.
Van Dijk was unable to continue following a challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford early on during the Premier League encounter at Goodison Park, and will now be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
“It will have a huge effect on the title race,” Hamann told talkSPORT. “When you lose Van Dijk, he is the best centre-back in the world at the moment.
“What the guy has done since he came to the club – he galvanised them and changed them from one of the most vulnerable defensively to one of the best.
“It also affects your team going forward, because if Van Dijk is not in the team they’re probably a bit more cautious. He’s clearly a big loss.”
Anterior cruciate ligament injuries unfortunately tend to bring long-term layoffs and Jurgen Klopp confirmed Van Dijk would be out “for a while”, though he didn’t put a timescale.
The £180,000-a-week ace is indeed a world-class defender and will be missed, but Liverpool now have to regroup in wake of this huge setback and potentially bring in someone new in January.