"He’s definitely got to up his game" - Gabby Agbonlahor on Virgil van Dijk

Former Aston Villa forward Gabby Agbonlahor has been critical of Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk on radio.

The Dutchman has been a little bit below par this season. Van Dijk has just looked a bit lethargic out on the pitch. But, he has not been poor.

Van Dijk has averaged a WhoScored player rating of 7.12 in Liverpool's first five games of the 2022-23 Premier League season.

With that being the case, Agbonlahor has criticised the defender.

"In the Man United game, he didn’t look like he really wanted to do the proper defending, you know, getting his body in front of the ball. For the (Jadon) Sancho goal, he had his arms behind his back," he told talkSPORT, as quoted by Anfield Watch's Twitter account.

"If that was Rio Ferdinand or John Terry, they’d be flying out to make a block. Sometimes when he’s running back and defending it’s like he’s in second gear.

"It’s like he’s got more but he’s taking it easy, like he’s saying ‘you’re not going to take me on, I’m Van Dijk’, but if someone does then it shocks him and then he struggles to get back. He’s definitely got to up his game but I think that he can easily.”

Anfield Watch Verdict

Since Van Dijk suffered a serious knee injury against Everton at Goodison Park back in October 2020, he hasn't been the same.

The centre-back missed a total of 45 games during the 2020-21 campaign as a result of the aforementioned injury. But, as we have pointed out, Van Dijk is still a very good player.

We do agree with Agbonlahor that the 31-year-old is more than capable of rediscovering his best form. Van Dijk is a world-class footballer after all.

So, we will always support the Dutchman. We wish Van Dijk all the best for the remainder of the season.

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