Georginio Wijnaldum hails the performances of Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has hailed the showing of compatriot Virgil van Dijk since his move to Merseyside from Southampton last winter. The Netherlands international joined the Reds on a world-record fee for a defender in January and he has since lived up to the club’s expectations at the heart of the backline.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Wijnaldum praised the impact of his countrymen and said that the Dutchman has become the leader of the club’s defence, he quipped: “I think Virgil has made a difference in the last line because he is a good defender, a big defender. He is an extra man who can defend set-pieces as well. He is a leader in the last line who not only helps himself with his quality but also the players next to him and so he really helps the team.

“But it is not only Virgil, the team helps him also – the players who play next to him or in front of him and the goalkeeper too because we all have to communicate with each other and help each other. It is good teamwork that makes us do things so well, but of course he has made a real difference since he came.”

Van Dijk joined the Reds when they were holding an unbeaten Premier League record in their home turf and that has continued over the past 10 months where the club have shown progress across all competitions. Nonetheless, their efforts have yet to transform into potential silverware and that remains the main objective as the Reds progress during the ongoing season.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have already been ousted from the League Cup after a 2-1 third round defeat to Chelsea but they still remain alive across all competitions. The Reds are currently just two points behind leaders Manchester City in the top-flight whilst they are likewise second in their Champions League group with two matches left. The Reds are scheduled to face Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli in the final two group stage matches where they require four points to ensure round of 16 progression.