'Most defenders including Lovren and Matic lack the intelligence of Van Dijk', says Liverpool legend
What's the story?
Liverpool legend and former Republic of Ireland striker John Aldridge has heaped praise on Reds defender Virgil Van Dijk, stating that the Dutchman is more intelligent than most defenders in football at the moment.
In case you didn't know...
Van Dijk is enjoying his best season in the Premier League, having played a significant role in Liverpool's title chase so far this season.
Liverpool have only conceded 19 goals this campaign and much credit goes to Van Dijk and fellow newcomer Alisson Becker.
The Dutchman's performances sees the defender competing for the PFA Player of the Year award together with the likes of Manchester City's Raheem Sterling and teammate Sadio Mane.
The heart of the matter
Aldridge has stated that the intelligence than Van Dijk possesses is something that fellow defenders Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip lack.
Writing for Independent.ie, he said, "Liverpool's defensive talisman needed some fortune to smile on him too, but I will join the ranks of those who give the former Celtic star credit for his role in averting the goal."
"His decision to keep Sissoko on his left foot and deny him the chance to get the ball to Son was quality defending at its most intelligent – and he was rewarded as Sissoko's shot flew high over the bar."
"Essentially, Van Dijk weighed up the best and worst-case scenario in a crisis situation and came up with the answer that gave him the best chance of coming out on top against the France international."
He added, "Dejan Lovren would have jumped in on Sissoko and either given him a chance to pass to Son or get past him, and I suspect Joel Matip may have done the same as most defenders now lack the intelligence Van Dijk showed in that situation."
"He had done his homework on the two players threatening the Liverpool goal, he appreciated that Sissoko couldn't hit a barn door with his left foot and he earned the luck that came his way with the final outcome."
Liverpool will next travel to St Mary's Stadium to face Southampton in what will be yet another crucial game in their race for the English title.