Virgil van Dijk has hit back at Jamie Carragher after the former Liverpool skipper suggested he needed to lose weight. The Dutch international became the world’s most expensive defender a month ago after his £75million move from Southampton.
The defender became an instant hit with the Anfield faithful, scoring the winner against Everton in the FA Cup. While Van Dijk has certainly made a difference in the four matches he has played, the defender has still been far from his best and has faced some criticism.
Carragher accused the centre-back as being overweight and advised him to lose some weight after the player was dropped for the match against Huddersfield last week.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp did defend Van Dijk by hitting out at Carragher but the club’s record signing has now teasingly called on the Reds legend to meet him in the dressing room and see for himself whether he needs to lose weight or not.
“He (Carragher) needs to come into the dressing room and he can see if I need to lose some weight because I don’t think I need to lose some weight!” Van Dijk was quoted in a report by the Express.
“I have been out for eight months – last January until September really and I didn’t play at Premier League level. It is not easy to come back, especially when I have made such a big step as now with all the eyes on me and they look at every small detail.
“I am just focusing on the team and myself. Other people will talk and have their opinions. There is nothing I can do about that. I will just try and enjoy my game and enjoy being here and that is what I am definitely doing.
“It is a strength of mine to not really bother too much when people have their opinions, especially negative opinions. I know when I am doing it well and exactly when I am doing it wrong. That is what I am working on and obviously no-one will talk about my performance (against Spurs) in general.
“We defended very well, had two penalties against us with a lot of question marks around them. I know that as a team and the players around me we did very well against one of the best strikers in Europe.”
It is true pundits criticise a lot when a player performs below his standards but never praise them wholeheartedly when the same player does well. I understand the critics are paid for it but it would be nice if they appreciate the players when they totally deserve it.