'Would love to': Virgil van Dijk wishes he could take one skill from Joel Matip

Virgil van Dijk picked something from Joel Matip when asked what skill of a Liverpool teammate he'd love to call his own. The Reds' captain is actually envious.

Virgil van Dijk gave an in-depth interview with France Football this week and one particularly interesting question asked for a trait of a Liverpool teammate that he'd love to have. It did require some thought, admittedly.

But eventually, Van Dijk settled on something he sees from Joel Matip that he'd 'love' to call his own.

"Not easy [to pick one]," said the Liverpool captain. "Maybe Joël Matip's dribbling. He loves dribbling from the back.

"He goes there, he's not afraid, he's not there saying to himself: "If I do that, we might lose the ball." It's a very nice quality, I would love to be able to do that."

That is arguably the standout trait of Matip's - what sets him apart from other top centre-backs at his best. The defender will pick up the ball from deep and just drift through opponents, forcing them to abandon their positions to challenge him.

That, in turn, usually creates a free man for Liverpool where there otherwise wasn't one. Of course, there was the time when no one picked him up at all and Matip scored a brilliant goal against Leeds United, moving across the defensive lines and finishing like a centre-forward.

If Van Dijk was capable of that, too? Liverpool would feel a little unstoppable and it's only fair that the Dutchman isn't able to do everything. He's as complete of a centre-back as you're ever likely to see - one skill here and there that's beyond him at least gives opponents a chance.

Fortuantely for Liverpool, it's not a skill that will disappear with Matip, either. Ibrahima Konaté is showing more and more that he can do the same with the ball - as true a successor as the Reds could hope for.

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