Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has criticized Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk for his performance against Manchester United on August 22.
The Dutch defender was partly at fault for the Red Devils’ first goal in their 2-1 win at Old Trafford against the Reds.
Jadon Sancho played James Milner as he entered the challenge and finished brilliantly past Alisson to give Manchester United the lead. Van Dijk was seen standing with his hands behind his back, not trying to block the shooting.
This earned him criticism from fans and critics alike, and Merson has now criticized the center back as well. He wrote in his column for the Daily Star:
“Virgil van Dijk is a Rolls-Royce and you wouldn’t imagine him in your wildest dreams doing what he did last night at Old Trafford. If he’s on trial in Liverpool and that was a practice match, he wouldn’t be back next week. That’s how bad it was.”
Van Dijk, 31, joined the Reds from Southampton for £75m and arguably has been one of the best defenders in the world since then. He played 185 matches for Jurgen Klopp’s side, helping them win the Premier League and the Champions League, among other titles.
However, the Dutchman has been criticized for his performance so far this season. He missed a penalty kick in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Fulham. He could also have done better against Wilfried Zaha in their 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.
Paul Merson predicts Liverpool and Manchester United matches in the Premier League Gameweek 4
In his article for Sportskeeda, Paul Merson predicted the results of the match between the Reds against Bournemouth and Manchester United against Southampton.
The Red Devils started the campaign in terrible fashion, losing to Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford. But they managed to beat their arch-rivals Liverpool in their last game.
Merson believes their game against Southampton at St Mary’s is really important because they need to repeat their performance against the Reds. While he believed the hosts could pull off a surprise, he backed Manchester United to a 2-1 win.
Meanwhile, for Jurgen Klopp’s side, Merson believes facing the newly promoted Bournemouth will be a walk in the park. The Merseysiders are still looking for their first win of the season. The former Arsenal man thinks he will get it 3-0 against the Cherries.
Both matches are scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 27.