Premier League: 3 Liverpool players Chelsea wish they had
This weekend’s biggest Premier League fixture undoubtedly takes place on Sunday, as Liverpool play host to Chelsea at Anfield. Despite both sides being part of the Premier League’s so-called ‘Big Six’, fortunes could hardly have gone more differently for the two teams in 2018/19.
Despite a good start to the season, Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea have shown inconsistent form since the autumn, with his vaunted ‘Sarri-ball’ system showing a lot of flaws, and this has resulted in the Blues being miles off the pace in terms of the title race.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on the other hand have almost been perfect outside of the odd blip; his squad have performed tremendously all season and could still win the Premier League – in other seasons without Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City being so strong, they may have already done it.
Part of the reason for Chelsea’s struggles this season has been down to the personnel that Sarri has used; the Italian has been criticised for not using young stars like Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek enough, but it’s also hard to deny that the Blues’ squad overall isn’t as strong as it has been in the past.
With that in mind, here are 3 Liverpool players that Chelsea would love to be able to call upon right now.
#1 Virgil Van Dijk
One of the likeliest candidates for the Premier League’s Player of the Year award, Virgil Van Dijk is arguably the best defender in the league – if not the world – right now, and since joining Liverpool for a huge £75m fee from Southampton in January 2018, he’s strengthened the Reds’ back line beyond belief and made them look almost impregnable at times.
The big Dutchman’s defensive statistics are simply incredible – this season alone he’s completed 33 successful tackles, 38 interceptions, 178 clearances, he’s blocked 17 shots and he’s only given away 12 fouls. And that’s without mentioning his record at the other end of the pitch – Van Dijk has also scored 3 league goals and made one assist too.
Not only this, but he’s an incredible leader on the pitch, and having him around has clearly helped improve the likes of Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
It’s no surprise then that Liverpool have the Premier League’s tightest defence – they’ve conceded just 20 goals all season, 14 less than Chelsea, who have seen the likes of David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen all struggle from the centre-back positions in 2018/19.
Would Chelsea have suffered adverse results such as their 4-0 thumping at the hands of Bournemouth had they been able to call upon Van Dijk? It’s highly unlikely.