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'He was the player': Carragher says Van Dijk has left himself open to criticism for Liverpool performances
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

'He was the player': Carragher says Van Dijk has left himself open to criticism for Liverpool performances

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk must accept criticism coming his way as Liverpool struggle defensively, according to Jamie Carragher.

The Dutchman has been the main man for the Reds over recent seasons and been a key factor in Liverpool winning both the Champions League and Premier League. However, much like many of Liverpool’s squad this season, Van Dijk has come in for criticism this term thanks to some sub-par performances.

Photo by Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images

And according to Liverpool legend Carragher, Van Dijk has to take the critics head on given the praise he’s received.

“This has been the foundation of Liverpool’s approach under Klopp, too, which is why there is so much focus on Van Dijk’s level right now,” Carragher wrote in his column for The Telegraph, comparing Van Dijk with Arsenal’s William Saliba.

“He was the player singled out when the defence looked imperious, so naturally finds himself the focus of attention when they look more vulnerable, albeit it is the collective responsibility of the team to make such a defensive style work.”

Of course, much of the focus this season has been on Trent Alexander-Arnold. The right-back seems to be picked up on every week in terms of his performances, with the smallest of mistakes being highlighted. Van Dijk, meanwhile, hasn’t quite shown the consistency he was once renowned for.

TBR’s View: Van Dijk Can Be Better For Liverpool

In tough times, the very best players drag their teammates along and get them back up to the levels required. At the moment, Van Dijk isn’t quite doing this for Liverpool.

Sure, he remains their best defender and you’d never dream of dropping him. However, he has to be better and given the level he has shown previously, we all know he can do it.

Carragher makes a good point on Van Dijk here as well. The praise will always come, but for now, he has to cope with the critics and come out fighting.

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