Football

Ryan Babel believes he's found a way past Virgil van Dijk.

Ryan Babel thinks he has discovered Virgil van Dijk's weakness ahead of Liverpool tie

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There really aren’t enough words to describe Liverpool’s giant centre-back, Virgil van Dijk.

The Dutch defender has been nothing short of colossal since his world record move from Southampton at the beginning of 2018 and is undoubtedly the first name on Jurgen Klopp’s teamsheet.

The 27-year-old has single-handedly transformed a frighteningly fragile defence into one of the most feared backlines in Europe.

He is a natural born leader and can constantly be seen ushering his teammates around the pitch and shouting out commands.

He is a towering presence in the air, obscenely calm under pressure and silky as it gets on the ball - he really is the complete package.

Many an attacker has tried and failed to get the best of Van Dijk who continues to make his mammoth £75 million price tag look like the bargain of the century.

And now, as if his defensive prowess wasn’t enough, Van Dijk has started to add goals to his repertoire as well.

It is difficult to see how the former Celtic man could get any better, but international teammate Ryan Babel believes it can happen.

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Speaking ahead of his date with his national team captain on Sunday when Fulham welcome the high flying Reds to Craven Cottage, Babel was coy on his chances of getting one up on his compatriot.

He even went so far as to claim he has spotted a chink in the formidable armour of Van Dijk, and will look to exploit it come Sunday’s clash.

“Virgil has definitely developed over the past few years,” Babel told The Times.

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“I think he can get better by 30 per cent. I still feel he plays on 70 per cent. He can do much more. He can be fast if he wants.

“He does have a weakness, I don’t want to say what it is. I don’t think in the Premier League anyone has made that aware yet.”

Perhaps the most worrying aspect of that statement, for opposing attackers at least, is the claim that Van Dijk can still improve by a whole 30%.

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However, should Babel find a way to make the most of whatever the mysterious weakness may be, you can be sure he’ll be getting a call from Pep Guardiola to say thanks.

Liverpool simply can’t afford to slip up at the Cottage and will be looking to Van Dijk to makes sure that doesn’t happen.

Topics:
UEFA Champions League
Football
Virgil van Dijk
Sadio Mane
Jurgen Klopp
Pep Guardiola
Premier League
Ryan Babel
Southampton
Liverpool

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