‘He’s like a statue’: Martin Keown says Virgil van Dijk must learn to do the ‘rough and tough things’ to become an ‘all-time great’ … claims Liverpool defender ‘shameful’ to enter everything
- Martin Keown says Virgil van Dijk needs to be more aggressive in defence
- Keown claims Liverpool defender caught ‘standing like a statue’
- He also says that Van Dijk has to do the ‘rough and tough things’ to be ‘the best’
- However, he did heap praise on the Dutch defender for his passing skills
Martin Keown says Virgil van Dijk needs to be more aggressive if he wants to be considered an ‘all-time great’.
He claims the Liverpool defender is caught ‘standing like a statue’ and insists he needs to ‘go to the ball’ to have a bigger impact in games.
Keown also says Van Dijk needs to do the ‘rough and tough things’ to become the ‘best defender we’ve seen’.
Martin Keown (above) says Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk needs to be more aggressive in defence
However, he had praise for Van Dijk’s passing ability and aerial dominance, claiming he is ‘magnificent in most categories’.
Keown’s comments came after Van Dijk was caught by Crysencio Summerville in Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Leeds this weekend.
Keown said: ‘I feel he could be the all-time great. But what I feel he does is sometimes instead of actually pressing and suffocating his opponent, he has stood like a statue.
Keown also says Van Dijk needs to do the ‘rough and tough things’ to become ‘the best defender’
‘He hopes the ball hits him. And I just think it has to be instinct to go to the ball.
‘We saw Milner in his ear. Milner was on it. Then another against Zaha for Palace. It’s like he’s running on an Olympic track. Come over, come over.
‘Does he feel that he doesn’t want to be embarrassed? Why does he not want to take the risk? I think you should do that, do some of the rough and tough stuff. I thought it was gone when he played Haaland, he and Gomez were pretty wonderful.
Van Dijk will be hoping he can turn his form around before heading to the 2022 World Cup
‘If he gets that (instinct to press) he’ll probably be the best defender we’ve seen, all round. His death is wonderful, he is a giant in the sky. He is far ahead in most categories, but he does not stand on blocks.’
Van Dijk has been regarded as one of the best defenders in the world after taking the Premier League by storm. However, he has experienced a dip in form in the last few weeks.
Van Dijk will be hoping he can turn his form around before heading to the 2022 World Cup with Holland later this month.