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Virgil van Dijk Hovered for New Role at Liverpool Following Final Honest Admission

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Virgil van Dijk Poised for New Role at Liverpool Following Final Honest Admission

Virgil van Dijk will most likely be offered a new position at Liverpool next season as he prepares for what could be a crucial summer period for the defender.

If Virgil van Dijk’s latest post-match outburst wasn’t the first time the Liverpool defender had spoken out in the 2022/23 season, it was certainly the last.

After captaining his national team to a 3-2 loss to Italy in the UEFA Nations League on Sunday, the Netherlands captain put on a brave face for the media for the final time.

As usual, it was a scathing and uncompromising assessment from a player who feels it as his obligation to render judgment in the immediate wake of poor results.

“We are building something, but how we allow ourselves to be trumped, that should not have happened to us and is very disappointing,” he told NOS. “We took risks in the second half, and things went better at times, but the first half is never allowed.” It simply wasn’t good enough. We should surely look into it, especially given the upcoming key matches.”You also play for honor, and we are embarrassed by how we performed in the first half. We should all take a long, hard look in the mirror. Let us concentrate on how things must be considerably different in the coming future.

“It took us two years to fine-tune a system, just like we have to do now. These matches should also be seen as a learning opportunity, but we must take big steps and take our responsibility”.

If Van Dijk’s admittance of a’shameful’ performance was maybe a harsh judgment of both himself and his teammates following a close-run defeat to the current European champions, it was characteristic of the Liverpool No.4’s direct and honest approach. When he and his teammates stumbled, the former Celtic and Southampton great had no problem giving out some hard realities.

Van Dijk did not miss a single game for the Reds last season when he thought something needed to be said. In private, he admitted that he thought it was his obligation to function as the unofficial spokesman for the Liverpool team, especially if Jurgen Klopp’s players were having a terrible day at the office. It is also one of the reasons why the Oranje skipper is regarded as a crucial leader in his club squad.

With James Milner leaving the club for Brighton & Hove Albion this summer, Van Dijk is very set to be given the vice-captaincy for the coming season.

And, with club captain Jordan Henderson facing increased competition from the projected arrival of more midfielders next season, Van Dijk may find himself in charge of the armband at Anfield more than ever in the future. He will undoubtedly seize the opportunity.

But first, the Reds defender can get some much-needed vacation after a season in which he appeared 41 times for the Reds and 12 times for Holland in friendlies, UEFA Nations League, and World Cup matches.

Van Dijk has played over 100 times for club and country since returning from a career-threatening knee injury suffered against Everton in a 2-2 draw in October 2020, with 92 of those appearances coming for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.

The 31-year-old has played 5,895 minutes of club football since returning to competitive action nearly two years ago, and in another candid post-match admission, Van Dijk revealed that the near-perfect standards demanded of the centre-back have put too much stress and strain on him at times.

“We play every three to four days so what you have to do is sacrifice quite a bit. I would love to spend time with my family and my kids,” Van Dijk revealed in March. “But I need to get treatment every day, make sure I’m eating the right stuff and doing the right things to be ready for the next game.

“That’s the life we live and we are very privileged and I acknowledge that but you still have to make these sacrifices. That’s what’s going on behind the scenes.

“I came back from quite a complex injury that I had two years ago now. That takes treatment, that takes time, it takes adaptation. That’s the way I have to handle myself and I won’t say it’s always easy but it happens.

“Coming back from the knee injury, I played all the Premier League games because I want to be out there. That’s what I’m working hard for. What caught up is that I played too many games at a time. I’ll do everything possible to play but I could have also thought before the World Cup, ‘let’s rest a little bit to be ready’.

“But I didn’t because I want to be influential for this football club but it caught up with me unfortunately. I’m not a robot and I think having the World Cup and then doing nothing for a week and coming back, it was maybe not the right decision.”While Van Dijk’s previous impossibly high standards were often exaggerated by his doubters, last season was undoubtedly a departure, at times, from the sort of form that helped push Liverpool to every major championship since 2019.

No player was more transformative in transforming Klopp’s side from pretenders and contenders to a team that could boast being champions of England, Europe, and the world in 2020, but the £75m man found himself the subject of more criticism than ever before in his now nearly six years on Merseyside.

Of course, much of that is due to the team’s overall underperformance, and there is little doubt that the drop-off from the squad was concerning last season, as the Reds finished with their lowest result since 2016.

Van Dijk has faced harsh questions all season, so all he needs to do now is avoid the spotlight for the next two weeks as he prepares for a key recovery period before returning to pre-season training next month.

Pre-season at the AXA Centre begins on July 8, although Van Dijk will be enjoying his 32nd birthday with his family on that day, as Klopp is anticipated to give him an extra few days off due to his international commitments.

It might be a key month for Liverpool and Holland’s centre-halves to rest and recover following another rigorous year at the back.

Virgil van Dijk Poised for New Role at Liverpool Following Final Honest Admission

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