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Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk still world’s best but showed issues vs West Ham, says Ferdinand

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Virgil van Dijk remains ‘the best centre-back in the world’ but MUST address some ‘teething issues’ since returning from ACL injury hell after Liverpool’s first shock defeat of the season to West Ham, says Rio Ferdinand

  • Legendary Premier League defender Rio Ferdinand has focused on Van Dijk 
  • The Dutchman was the topic of conversation in his latest FIVE podcast online 
  • Ferdinand believes Liverpool ace Van Dijk remains the world’s best centre back 
  • Yet he also insists the 30-year-old has had ‘issues’ since his return from injury 











Legendary Premier League defender Rio Ferdinand has made a rather strong observation about Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk, following the Reds’ first defeat of the season on the road against West Ham.

Ferdinand was watching on as Jurgen Klopp‘s team put in an abject performance against the side he started his football career with, and noted that Van Dijk was not at his imperious best against the Hammers.

In fact, Ferdinand believes some ‘teething problems’ have been highlighted since the Dutchman returned to the fold following a season-long injury lay-off due to a torrid ACL rupture, but insists Van Dijk’s overall legacy will be looked at with a full span of his career.

Rio Ferdinand (right) told his FIVE podcast that some 'teething issues' are seen with Van Dijk

Rio Ferdinand (right) told his FIVE podcast that some ‘teething issues’ are seen with Van Dijk

Van Dijk, 30, was at the heart of defence as Liverpool suffering a shock defeat to West Ham

Van Dijk, 30, was at the heart of defence as Liverpool suffering a shock defeat to West Ham

To this end, Ferdinand feels Liverpool must address a defensive slide and periods of uncertainty across the back line, and that Van Dijk himself must step up and take charge of this.

‘It’s who stands the length of time as well, if you could do it over a period of time,’ Ferdinand told his FIVE YouTube channel while discussing Van DIjk’s legacy.

‘There’s no doubt in my mind Virgil’s best year would stack up against most centre-backs, but you don’t get judged on that best year, you get judged over that period of time.

Ferdinand says Van Dijk will naturally have a few issues following his long ACL injury lay-off

Ferdinand says Van Dijk will naturally have a few issues following his long ACL injury lay-off

 ‘I think you’ve got to think you’re the guy, you’ve got to think you’re the best… and I think Virgil, he’s the best centre-back in the world,’ he added.

‘Yes there’s going to be teething problems, that’s going to happen because he’s been out for so long and he’s just getting his feet wet again, but I still believe if there’s a game right now today and I need a centre back, my first centre back on the list would be him.’

Van Dijk, 30, has featured with a series of partners since making his eagerly awaiting return to the Liverpool set-up.

So far this season Klopp has opted to have him form a first choice defensive pairing alongside the unorthodox Joel Matip, yet some matches have also been played out alongside summer recruit Ibrahima Konate.

Ferdinand also hailed West Ham star Declan Rice as the 'best midfielder in the country'

Ferdinand also hailed West Ham star Declan Rice as the ‘best midfielder in the country’

Rice has played a vital part in the success so far this season and was key against Liverpool

Rice has played a vital part in the success so far this season and was key against Liverpool

Liverpool also have Joe Gomez chopping at the bit, following the England youngster also suffering an injury lay-off of his own.

It has been a week of strong opinion for Ferdinand, who has also labelled West Ham ace Declan Rice ‘the best midfielder in the country’ following his performance in the Liverpool win.

Ferdinand said: ‘He has arguably been the best midfielder in the country.

‘He has dominated games, he has played with maturity. The Euros, something’s clicked in him different. 

‘His game management, the way he can change the pace of a game at times, we saw that at Newcastle earlier in the season. He’s added goals now. There’s a maturity in his game for one so young that he’s got levels still to go.’

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