Van Dijk will get even better for Liverpool, says Klopp


first_img0Shares0000The Dutch centre-half was a long-term target for Liverpool after failing in their bid to land him last summer, but he has been worth the wait for Klopp.LONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 10 – Jurgen Klopp says Sh10.4bn (£75mn) January signing Virgil van Dijk has proved to be even better than he imagined.Van Dijk returns to former club Southampton on Sunday after quickly settling into life under Klopp, following his record-breaking move to Anfield. The Dutch centre-half was a long-term target for Liverpool after failing in their bid to land him last summer, but he has been worth the wait for Klopp.“I’m not surprised that he is really, really fantastic and exactly like what we would have expected,” Klopp said.“He has all the football tools, he is getting better and better. He was not 100 per cent fit when he arrived here for different reasons but he’s getting better and better. Everything will be even better in a few weeks.“He is a football playing centre half. That’s what he is. He is good and I’m absolutely happy having him around.”Klopp believes that van Dijk will get even better next season too, once he comes to grips with the size of his new club.“It is a completely different way of working here. We can beat Southampton, they can beat us. We play in the same league but everything is different here. Each player will tell you exactly the same,” added the Liverpool boss.“It’s not only the football thing. Liverpool is an outstanding big club and the boys have to do a lot of things around training, much more than the other clubs but it is all good.“You have to adapt to all these things and then there is the football. We had much more time to train but it is still not exactly like you would do it in the pre-season.“That’s the truth. That’s why I said you will see the best Virgil Van Dijk after pre-season.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Brendan Rodgers receives backing from rival Premier League manager


first_img Tim Sherwood and Brendan Rodgers 1 Tim Sherwood insists Liverpool are lucky to have under-fire manager Brendan Rodgers – and he could have managed Real Madrid.The Aston Villa chief has defended Rodgers amid growing pressure on the Anfield boss following their poor start.Villa go to Merseyside on Saturday looking to pile the misery on Rodgers who has seen his side earn just eight points from six games to sit seven points off the top of the Barclays Premier League.Rodgers took Liverpool to second in the league in 2014 and has vowed to fight for his Anfield future with the club denying Carlo Ancelotti had been approached about the possibility of taking over while Jurgen Klopp has been linked with the job. Sherwood, though, believes Rodgers remains a top manager.He said: “After that season they finished second, if they’d won the league could they have kept hold of Brendan Rodgers?“They would have tried everything – and they did, he signed a new contract after that.“All of a sudden he doesn’t turn into a bad manager, it’s fine margins. We might have seen him at Real Madrid.“Why wouldn’t we have seen him there? He’d have won the English Premier League with a team who hasn’t won it for God knows how many years. He would have been the hottest property in football. A week is a long time in this game, let alone a year. Because they got so close it intensifies the pressure. He’s paying the price for overachieving a couple of seasons ago.“It’s harder to be a manager now than 20 years ago with social media and faceless people have their opinions. There’s more pundits than players.”Christian Benteke has been denied a reunion with Villa for the first time since leaving in a £32.5million move in the summer with a hamstring injury and Sherwood, who has Idrissa Gueye (hamstring) available again, admitted Villa would not have let the Belgium striker go if he did not have a release clause.He added: “There wouldn’t have been a price the club would have taken if the clause wasn’t there. The clause was in there from previously and everyone looked at it and thought it was good money. I always knew that call was going to come.”last_img read more