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Reds Column III

Virgil Van Dijk: The Colossal Reds Star

Early Career and Abilities

  • Began career with FC Groningen
  • Struggled initially to break into the First Team
  • Made Debut against ADO Den Haag around early May 2011 (2010-11 Season)
  • Being Right Footed, the Dutchman plays primarily as a Left-hand sided Centre Back but is adept at playing as a Right-sided Centre Back
  • Possesses Defensive World Class Qualities: Physical Strength; Leadership Qualities; Impeccable Concentration and Man Marking; Brilliant Positioning; Strong Tackling; Calm under pressure in possession and Successful at Aerial Duels
  • Blessed with Pace; Stamina; Pressing Skills; Passing range including Diagonal Passes; Effective at Set-Pieces with an Eye For Goal and Resistant to Press from Opposition’s attack
  • Can progress possession through movement into midfield thereby breaking the Opposition’s defences
  • Scored his first professional Goal against ADO Den Haag (UEFA Europa League Playoff Match)
  • His impressive performances caught the attention of several Eredivisie clubs including AFC Ajax 

 

Celtic Fc Career

  • Joined the Scottish Club around June 2013 for a Transfer Fee under £3 Million
  • Made Debut against Aberdeen Football Club around mid August 2013 (2013-14 Season)
  • Scored his first goal for the club against Ross County around early November 2013
  • Helped the Celtic Fc secure the Scottish Premiership 2013-14 Title
  • Was instrumental helping the Scottish Club retain the Scottish Premiership 2014-15 Title as well as win the Scottish League Cup 2014-15

 

Southampton Fc

  • Around early September 2015, joined Southampton Fc (The Saints) that was managed by Ronald Koeman
  • Against the hosts West Bromwich Albion Fc, made debut for the Club (2015-16 Season)
  • Scored his First Goal against Swansea City Fc around end of September 2015
  • Made his International Debut against Kazakhstan around Mid October 2015 (UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifier)
  • Helped the Club to secure Europa League Group Stage Qualification by finishing Sixth in the Premier League Table
  • Signed an extended contract with the Saints
  • Was named as Club Captain following the departure of José Fonte around mid January 2017 (2016-17 Season)
  • His performances attracted the interest from Liverpool Fc (The Reds).
  • However, was issued by the Reds to the Saints for illegally approaching the player
  • By submitting the Transfer Request, he made his intentions clear of his wish to leave the Saints
  • Played his last match for the Saints in a home defeat to Leicester City around mid December 2017
  • Was not included in the squad due to the transfer speculations surrounding his future

 

Reds Career (so far)

  • The Reds finally got their man by paying the Transfer Fee of under £76 Million to the Saints (which was the World Record Transfer Fee for a Defender at that time)
  • Joined the Reds to improve the woeful and inconsistent Reds Defence
  • Debuted and scored for the Reds in the FA Cup 2017-18 Third Round home win over bitter rivals Everton Fc
  • Partnered alongside mainly Dejan Lovren and massively improved the Reds Defence
  • Played a crucial part in helping the Reds reach the Champions League 2017-18 Finals but the Reds eventually lost to Real Madrid CF (3-1)
  • Continued with his impressive performances and the Reds Defences also gradually kept improving
  • Was handed International Captaincy by Dutch Manager Ronald Koeman around end of March 2018
  • Was instrumental in helping the Reds finish the Season as Premier League 2018-19 Runner Up
  • Named PFA Player’s Player of the Year
  • Won the Champions League 2018-19 Title with the Reds
  • Won the UEFA Super Cup Title
  • Voted Runner Up in The Best FIFA Men’s Player
  • Won the FIFA Club World Cup Title with the Reds which was the First World Title for the Club
  • The Reds defence became impenetrable under the defensive leadership of the Dutchman
  • Was instrumental in helping the Reds win the coveted Premier League 2019-20 Title and the Club broke several Premier League Records along the way
  • Scored a crucial goal to help the Reds secure a hard fought Premier League win over the newly promoted Leeds United (2020-21 Season)
  • Suffered an potential season ending knee injury during the Premier League Match against the hosts Everton Fc

 

Verdict: To shore up the Reds Defence and provide Leadership presence to the Reds Defence, Dejan Lovren was ironically brought from the Saints around July 2014. The Croatian International alongside Mamadou Sakho were the Reds defensive mainstay during those times.

Under Jürgen Klopp stewardship, Joël Matip later joined the Reds on a Free Transfer. Yet, the Reds struggled particularly through Set-Pieces and were largely inconsistent defensively.

Van Dijk’s arrival ushered solidity, stability, calmness and Leadership presence in the heart of the Reds Defence. After Alisson Becker joined the Reds around July 2018, the Duo became the Main Pillars of the Reds Defence.

The Dutchman played a crucial role in helping the Reds to win: Champions League 2018-19 Title, UEFA Super Cup 2019, FIFA Club World Cup 2019 and the coveted Premier League 2019-20 Title.

Unfortunately, the Dutchman is currently sidelined after undergoing a surgery on his injured knee.

Whatever happens in the future, everyone connected with the club will wholeheartedly will regard Van Dijk not just as a Colossal Reds Star but also as the Best Defender ever.

 

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