Pundit Danny Murphy has given his opinion on Virgil van Dijk's form.
The centre-back has looked a bit off the pace this season. But, you could argue that most of Jurgen Klopp's players have not been at their best so far this campaign.
However, Murphy has spoken specifically about Van Dijk's form during a recent radio interview.
"The injury he’s come back from, although he’s not had problems in missing games I think psychologically he’s not in the same place. What I mean by that is not wanting to be as physically engaged with players and tackles, although he had the studs one at the weekend.
"He’s playing within himself a little bit and protecting himself a little bit without knowing it. I’ve played with players who have had ACL injuries before and when they come back you can see them doing it.
"I think there’s maybe a little bit of staying out of trouble. You could argue the way he plays he doesn’t get himself in that much trouble anyway. But there is always that thing in the back of your mind when you’ve had a bad injury I think.
"We are again talking about someone who has set ridiculously high standards and even when he’s dropping below them at the moment he’s still brilliant compared to a lot of other centre-halves.
"I don’t think it helps having continually different centre-halves, I don’t think it helps that Fabinho in front of him hasn’t been at his best and when you’ve got him, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara in front of you dictating play then you’re defending less.
"It’s another case of the cream rising to the top, he’ll be back.”
Anfield Watch Verdict
As Murphy pointed out, Van Dijk suffered a serious knee injury against Everton at Goodison Park back in October 2020.
As a result, the centre-back missed a total of 45 games during the 2020-21 campaign. So, it wouldn't surprise us if Van Dijk was still recovering from the aforementioned injury.
However, the Dutchman has been far from poor so far this season. Van Dijk has averaged a WhoScored player rating of 7.11 across Liverpool's opening six games of the Premier League season.