Graeme Souness questions Liverpool star’s leadership qualities, says player doesn’t ‘get angry’
Graeme Souness has questioned Virgil Van Dijk’s leadership qualities following what has so far been an underwhelming season for Liverpool.
Struggling for consistency in the Premier League, as well as being put out of the EFL Cup and FA Cup way ahead of time, Liverpool’s seasons hinges entirely on the Champions League, but after suffering a 5-2 thumping at home against Real Madrid in the Last 16 first-leg, it seems just a matter of time before that competition is out of reach too.
Consequently, with Jurgen Klopp’s hopes soon to be pinned on guiding his team to a top-four finish, Souness has suggested that maybe defender Van Dijk may not be as good at directing teammates as some of the side’s other players.
“Liverpool’s successful years were when (James) Milner and (Jordan) Henderson have been right at their peak because they’re aggressive, they’re leaders, they’re shouting at people, they organise people, and so that helps and then (Virgil) Van Dijk was very similar as well when he first came in,” Souness told the Daily Mail.
“All of a sudden they had three people who were leaders for the rest of them.
“I’m not sure if Van Dijk’s a leader, he doesn’t speak!’ – Have you ever seen him angry? Get angry please!”
There is no denying it – since Van Dijk joined from Southampton in 2018 he has had an almost instant impact but Souness may well be right that the Dutchman lacks the same kind of skills the likes of Milner and Henderson have.
It could come down to a personality trait, but with the Netherlands international tasked with leading Klopp’s defence, there certainly seems to be a case to suggest that the 31-year-old will need to work on his leadership qualities.
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