Former Dutch defender Johan Derksen, who currently works as a journalist, has claimed that Liverpool superstar Virgil van Dijk is on his 'last legs'.
Van Dijk was signed by the Reds from Southampton in January 2018 for a then-world-record fee for a defender (£75 million). Since then, he has played a vital role in the club winning every major club trophy on offer under Jurgen Klopp.
The Dutchman was arguably at his sublime best in the 2018-19 season, where the Reds won the UEFA Champions League and finished second in the Premier League. He finished second in the Ballon d'Or rankings that year.
Van Dijk's form, however, has come under the spotlight in recent months. He was particularly scrutinized last season when the Anfield outfit finished fifth in the league and won no trophies. He wasn't playing his best football during that time and made uncharacteristic mistakes.
Recently, Van Dijk (32) conceded a cheap penalty through handball in the Netherlands' 2-1 UEFA Euros 2024 qualifier win over Ireland on 10 September. Speaking about Van Dijk's recent form, Derksen said (h/t SportBible):
"Can he still handle the level? No, he's on his last legs. I never thought of him as a star. He looks good, but I don't think he's a very good defender. He was only strong in the air."
Before the international break, he received an extended ban for two games after receiving a straight red card against Newcastle United last month. He sat out of his team's 3-0 league win over Aston Villa and will miss the trip to Molineux on 16 September when the Reds take on Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Jurgen Klopp's options in Liverpool defense in Virgil van Dijk's absence
Virgil van Dijk will miss the game against Wolves after he was handed an extended one-game ban and a £100,000 fine. He did not have any qualms with the decision.
This leaves Jurgen Klopp without one of his most important players against a team they lost to 3-0 at the Molineux last season. There are also doubts surrounding Ibrahima Konate's fitness.
The Frenchman missed the Reds' wins against Newcastle and Aston Villa and was replaced from France's squad for their fixtures this month. As per Liverpool Echo, his inclusion in the game against Wolves will be touch and go as he recovers from a thigh issue.
Hence, it seems likely that Klopp will stick to the centre-back pairing of Joel Matip and Joe Gomez. The two started together in the game against Aston Villa at Anfield earlier this month and kept a clean sheet.
20-year-old Academy centre-back Jarell Amorin Quansah also came on as a substitute during that game and could make the matchday squad against Wolves.