Jamie Redknapp says Liverpool would only just scrape into the top four without Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk is the world's best centre-back

Liverpool enjoyed a brilliant Saturday. 

After going 1-0 down to Newcastle early on, they battled back to defeat Steve Bruce's side 3-1 to extend their 100% record to start the season to five games.

And they then profited from an out-of-sorts Manchester City, who were shocked 3-2 by Norwich.

That means Liverpool now have a five-point lead at the top of the table and are the favourites to win the Premier League for the first time in their history.

Pep Guardiola's side looked out of sorts in defence.

They lost their best defender and one of their most important players, Aymeric Laporte, to a long-term injury before the international break.

John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi looked shaky in his absence, with the later gifting Norwich their third goal.

Jamie Redknapp was on punditry duty for City's defeat and he was asked about Laporte's absence after the game.

And he made some questionable comments about Van Dijk and Liverpool, claiming Jurgen Klopp's side are barely a top four team without him.

"This [Laporte's injury] makes Liverpool favourites now. They are five points ahead and there's an enormous amount of time to go," he said on Sky Sports.

"[Man City] have got a six-month injury to one of their best players. It's the equivalent of taking Virgil van Dijk out of Liverpool's back four.

"If you take Van Dijk out of Liverpool they will just about scrape in to the top four. You put him in the team and they finish with 97 points [In the Premier League] and win the Champions League.

"That's how big a difference I think Laporte makes to Man City as well."

That's a bold statement.

Van Dijk is the best defender in the world. That cannot be disputed at this moment in time.

But to say that Liverpool are only just about a top four team without him is a massive stretch.

Virgil van Dijk in action vs Newcastle

The Reds have Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, both of which are among the best centre-backs in the Premier League.

And even if Liverpool do struggle more in defence without Van Dijk, their front three is more than good enough to win them the majority of games.

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