Sunday 16 December 2018

'I fear for Van Dijk at Liverpool' - John Giles suspects Jurgen Klopp will not use his £75m man properly

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has joined Liverpool for £75million
Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has joined Liverpool for £75million
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Ireland legend John Giles fears Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will be a negative influence on Virgil van Dijk's career after the Dutch defender completes his record £75m move to Anfield.

Liverpool confirmed the signing of Van Dijk from Southampton on Wednesday, with the record fee for a defender viewed as evidence of the club's ambition to compete for the game's top players.

Yet Giles has told Newstalk's Off The Ball that Klopp's inability to improve Liverpool's defence in over two years at the club should set alarm bells ringing for Van Dijk.

"I fear Van Dijk could be badly coached at Liverpool," declared Giles.

"What worries me about Van Dijk is whether Klopp will have him playing in dead ball positions that wouldn't be correct.

"Klopp feels Van Dijk can solve some of their defensive errors, but I have my doubts that he will be properly used. I see other defenders there badly coach, with Klopp in charge of it.

"I watched Liverpool against Spurs a few weeks ago when they were well beaten and on the first goal, they were badly lined up. That comes from the coaches and Klopp, so Van Dijk would have been in that position if he was playing that day.

"The same faults happen time after time with Liverpool and that suggests they are being badly coached. When Van Dijk comes in, is he going to get badly coached? That would concern me. I have my doubts about it."

Giles also pointed out Van Dijk has yet to prove himself as a player who can marshal a defensive line at a top club, as he hinted the 26-year-old has not yet proved he deserves to be hailed as one ofthe world's top centre-backs.

"The record shows that Liverpool have paid £75m for him, but whether he is the best (defender) I wouldn't be too sure," he added.

"I think he is a very good player. He is good on the ball, but I find it difficult with Liverpool, but some of the things the players do under Klopp worry me."

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