Virgil Van Dijk and Liverpool Back Line to Return in Full Strength for Pre Season

Published 07/26/2021, 12:52 PM EDT


Liverpool were a force to be reckoned with in the 2019-20 season. While they had a blazing offense led by the trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, the back line made the biggest difference. Mainly the addition of big man Virgil van Dijk was a game changer.

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Van Dijk who joined Liverpool in early 2018, proved his worth to the team instantly. While he came in with a hefty £75 million price tag, the Dutch international had an incredible partnership with the likes of Joe Gomez and Joel Matip in the 2019-20 season as Liverpool conceded the least number of goals in the league.

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His impact was as such that the 28-year-old was among the three nominees to become the best player in the world narrowly losing out on the trophy to Lionel Messi. But after such a fantastic season, Van Dijk missed majority of the season due to injury.

Virgil van Dijk likely to return in upcoming pre-season game

Liverpool clearly had a season to forget last season. With injuries to multiple starters, the Merseyside club looked in a lot of trouble and risked losing out on a top 4 spot. While the injuries to club captain Jordan Henderson did have a negative impact, the injuries to their defensive anchor was the biggest difference.

But the Klopp led side might be in for a massive boost. According to Liverpool insider James Carroll, the Dutch international will be available for the next pre-season game against the German club Hertha Berlin.

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The 28-year-old’s return is certainly a big boost for Klopp and Co. His impact on the side is clear with the numbers as well. With Van Dijk out, Liverpool conceded a total of 42 goals. While his defensive impact was visible, his underrated aspect of delivering precise long balls was also missing.

Klopp might play a possession based offense but long balls do play a big role in the offense. While they had the 5th most long balls in their title winning season, they dropped all the way down to 14th in the 2020-21 season.

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Their goal tally also saw a massive dip as the tally went from 85 all the way down to 68 goals. Coming off of an incredibly long layoff, Liverpool will hope that the 28-year-old returns in top form.

Where teams like Chelsea and Man City grow stronger offensively, defensive solidity is a must for ‘the Reds’ if they want to return in title contention. Will Van Dijk be back in full strength or will a long layoff hurt his form? Let us know in the comments section down below.

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Aditya Mohapatra

1275 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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