‘Gave it up’: Jurgen Klopp urged to drop Liverpool star after Bournemouth incident
When Virgil van Dijk “gave it up” against Bournemouth, Scott Minto implores Jurgen Klopp to bench the Liverpool star if he is not fit.
After the solid 7-0 performance against the Red Devils, the in-form Liverpool went on to lose against Bournemouth. The whole team played horribly and Van Dijk’s lack of focus was terrible to witness.
In the 28th minute of Saturday’s Premier League match on the south coast, Billing gave the Cherries the lead. After Bournemouth took advantage of Liverpool’s high backline, Ouattara sprinted in behind the Reds’ defense. The forward had room to attack after a straightforward pass over the top.
Jurgen Klopp was pointed out to the Van Dijk mistake
A VAR review revealed that Ouattara had perfectly timed his run after Van Dijk was unable to locate the attacker. Billing, who was in the six-yard area, received a cross after the 20-year-old had been put onside by Ibou. The midfielder sprinted into the penalty area to sidefoot his shot in.
After not following Ouattara back as Bournemouth took the lead against Liverpool thanks to a goal from Billing, Van Dijk was slammed by Minto. The former Chelsea defender thought the 31-year-old had given up and might not be ready to play under Klopp at this time.
“The pace of Ouattara in behind, it’s a high line and a simple ball over the top. He didn’t seem to stay with Ouattara at all. Of course, he’s a key member of the squad and one of the best centre-backs in world football. But he has been complaining about fitness and the schedule. If he’s not right, rest him! That’s what a big squad is for.”
Van Dijk made his 30th appearance in the current campaign under Klopp when Liverpool traveled to Bournemouth on Saturday. 22 of the Reds’ 26 Premier League games have seen him on the field. The star from the Netherlands has participated in all seven of their Champions League games.
What the Dutchman said to The Telegraph
Due to a hamstring injury, Van Dijk missed three Premier League games in January and February. On his comeback to their matchday squad for the Merseyside derby against Everton, which the Reds won 2-0, Klopp would only designate the defender as an unused replacement.
Nonetheless, Van Dijk continued to play a crucial role when Liverpool traveled to Bournemouth, only for Ouattara to capitalize on Billing’s error. At the beginning of March, the center-half also admitted to The Telegraph that he ought to have taken a vacation before and after the World Cup in Qatar.
“Coming back from the knee injury, I played all the Premier League games because everybody wants to be out there and I want to be out there.”