Marco van Basten claims ‘weird’ Virgil van Dijk does so little compared to ex-Manchester United target

Van Basten questions Van Dijk
Van Basten questions Van Dijk's performances

Dutch icon Marco van Basten believes former Manchester United target Jurrien Timber is overshadowing Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk for the Netherlands.

Van Dijk missed the majority of last season with an ACL injury picked up in a collision with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

The Reds centre-back is now back to full fitness, but he and his club side have encountered difficulties at the start of the new campaign.

Van Dijk has made nine appearances, scoring one goal. However, his performances have been scrutinized amidst Liverpool's disappointing start.

He was given a break from club football as he has linked up with the Dutch national team for UEFA Nations League action.

Louis van Gaal's side have impressed with wins over Poland and Belgium but Van Basten has questioned Van Dijk's role in those games.

He has compared the Liverpool defender to Ajax's Timber, who was linked with a move to Manchester United this past summer.

Van Basten said (via Metro):

“Jurrien Timber is our biggest strength in defence."

He continued,

“He always takes the initiative just like Nathan Ake while actually, the best defender (Van Dijk) takes the least initiative of the three which is weird, that such a great centre-back does so little in the build-up."

Timber has been in impressive form for Ajax, making ten appearances and has been a stalwart at the back for the Eredivisie giants.

Van Basten touches on this:

“Ajax is playing great football thanks to Jurrien Timber and the national team is playing great football thanks to him too. It’s thanks to him that we are able to play so easy out from the back.”

The Netherlands have qualified for the last four of the UEFA Nations League and have shipped just six goals in as many fixtures.

They head to the 2022 FIFA World Cup to face Senegal, Ecuador and Qatar in Group A.

Manchester United defender Tyrell Malacia impresses for Netherlands

Malacia is impressing for club and country
Malacia is impressing for club and country

Manchester United left-back Malacia has been in fine form during the Netherlands' Nations League campaign.

He has earned five international caps so far and seems a certainty to make Van Gaal's squad for the World Cup.

However, he had a disagreement with Van Gaal when the Oranje head coach played him an unnatural left centre-back position against Belgium.

He compared playing for the Dutch national team to playing for Erik ten Hag's Red Devils.

He said (via The Sun):

"I'm comfortable with (Manchester United) at the moment. The national coach thinks that I should also be able to play in the centre of the defence. But I feel best on the left."

Malacia arrived at Old Trafford from Feyenoord for £13.8 million this past summer. He has made eight appearances for the Red Devils.

Quick Links

Edited by Matthew Guyett