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“I can assure you”- Virgil van Dijk answers if Liverpool’s slow start to the season is due to the World Cup

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Virgil van Dijk rules out one reason for Liverpool’s slow start to the season

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk assures that the World Cup in November is not proving as a ‘distraction’ which could have led to the poor start the Reds have gone on in their campaign this season. (h/t Liverpool Echo)

Virgil has not featured in a major international competition for Holland so far. He missed out on the Euros 2020 owing to an ACL tear. This World Cup, though, will be the first major tournament he shall play for his country.

The Reds have gone on the worst possible of starts after last season’s domestic success. Going into the international break, Liverpool see themselves in the eighth position on the PL table, accumulating only 50% of possible points.

Virgil van Dijk in action for Liverpool against Everton in the 2022/23 season.
Virgil van Dijk in action for Liverpool in the 2022/23 season. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

When prompted on whether Liverpool protecting themselves for the World Cup could be a factor why Liverpool has not had the ideal start, the 31-year-old was quick to dismiss such claims and provided a little bit of clarity on the case.

“I can assure you that is definitely not the case. We are not in the situation because of that. I would understand because of the start we had everyone is looking for ‘Why?’ because the difference is too big (from last season) but I can assure you that is definitely not one of the reasons. You focus on the game at the time and that’s definitely what we’re doing.”

Liverpool’s Form

As earlier stated, Virgil has not played a major tournament for the Netherlands yet. And naturally, he would want to. Former Reds midfielder Danny Murphy said earlier this season that Van Dijk could be protecting himself from injuries after the one he suffered against Everton in 2020.

In their last game before the international break, Liverpool played a good game vs Ajax, contrary to most of their performances in the season up to that point. The fixture showed glimpses of Liverpool from last season, but to pose a threat to Manchester City and other rivals, the Reds still have a long way to go.

Liverpool superstar Virgil van Dijk opens up on upcoming FIFA World Cup.
Virgil van Dijk in action for Liverpool.

A number of players are slated to return to team training after injury layoffs post the international break. With a number of options to choose from for gaffer Jurgen Klopp, it could bring a change in fortunes for Liverpool this season.

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Virgil himself has not been in the best of forms this season. The international break could give him a much-needed halt from club football, and return with full focus to get back to his best, for both club and country.