Former Chelsea and Tottenham defender Jason Cundy have slammed Liverpool and Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk following his poor start to the season and claimed that we should not compare him to Premier League legend Rio Ferdinand and John Terry.
The Dutch international had been touted as one of the greatest defenders in Premier League history after helping Liverpool win the Champions League and the Premier League after 30 years without a League trophy.
Van Dijk’s form had been declining since last season and this season has been the worst. His lack of defensive awareness and the ability to close attackers has raised a doubt in the minds of football fans that he deserves to be compared to Premier League legends like Rio Ferdinand and John Terry.
Liverpool has conceded 10 goals in 7 matches already this season. His defensive ability was once again questioned as he gave away a penalty to Napoli after a poor tackle on Victor Oshimen.
Jason Cundy believes recent performances and drop in the form are a course of concern and he lacks the width to be compared with Premier League greats like Ferdinand and John Terry.
What did they say?
The former Tottenham and Chelsea defender said on Talk sports via the Sports Bar: “He was lauded as one of the greatest center-halves that the Premier League has ever seen—poppycock.”
Reacting to Jamie O’Hara’s questions that they should compare Virgil van Dijk to the greatest defender in the Premier League, Jason Cundy added: “He’s not and I’ll tell you why he’s not, it’s because it comes down to longevity.
“If you look at Rio Ferdinand and John Terry, who over several years won multiple Premier League, won Champions League and won FA Cups. The pair of them won the lot.
“Van Dijk is a brilliant center-half but overrated at Liverpool. If you did the best XI at Liverpool ever, he’s not in there.”
Jamie O’Hara also agreed with Jason Cundy, saying: “Oh, Jason. Him and Alan Hansen,” Cundy responded saying: “It’s Mark Lawrenson for me. Lawrenson and Hansen, you can’t get a better pairing.
“There’s no doubting how good Van Dijk was, but right now, let’s call it as it is. Van Dijk is an absolute shadow of the player he was.
“He’s getting overlooked because he’s happy to blame Trent [Alexander-Arnold] and Gomez and Tsimikas come in. The mainstay right now is Van Dijk, and he’s nowhere near it.
“What about the challenge of Mitrovic for the penalty against Fulham? Mitrovic turns him. That’s not Van Dijk! He squares him up, turns him, penalty.
“Against Napoli, he lunges in and makes a challenge that he doesn’t have to make.”
Jamie O’Hara responded: “You’re completely digging him out. Okay, he might have a moment, but because he’s a colossal guy, he has a moment and loses a bit of confidence, and suddenly, Van Dijk’s not a great player.”
Jason continued: “I never saw John Terry make decisions like that or consistently have a bad run like this. Rio Ferdinand, I never saw it. The drop-off from him being the greatest center-half that the world has ever seen to now, the drop-off is a colossus.
“I want Liverpool fans to see it and say it.”