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Van Dijk on Quansah: “I Was Never This Far, Doing It Consistently”

The captain has really, really high praise for his emerging teammate.

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In a new piece with The Athletic, Liverpool FC captain Virgil van Dijk singled out Jarell Quansah for praise.

With 14 appearances in all competitions this season, Quansah has shown that he clearly belongs in the squad and is improving faster than most could have realistically foreseen. Young Jarell has made the leap from League One to Premier League football with almost zero hype, and the captain has praised his mentality:

“Jarell has dealt outstandingly well with every challenge that’s come his way so far. He’s only 20 years old, he’s still growing. As a centre-half, you get better with experience.”

“I was never this far, doing it consistently — like Ibou (Konate) and Jarell — when I was that young. He just has to keep going. There will be times when it’s tough, that’s absolutely normal, but it’s about how you deal with that. He’s a good boy. Mentally, he’s in the right frame of mind and that’s a good start. I’ll be there for him, whenever he needs. He’ll be just fine.”

The captain also commented on Quansah’s recent comments about Matip’s injury. This was what Jarell had said in a post-match interview:

“Obviously, it’s a shame what happened to Joel, and my condolences go to him, but my idea was to try and get over him anyway and try and be a starting centre-back in the Premier League.”

Virgil excused the youngster’s comments, citing youthful ambition and exuberance:

“I think it came across a little bit not in the right way. It’s good that he thinks like this in my opinion. But it was maybe too soon (after Matip’s injury) for him to say it in the way it came across. I don’t think he meant it in that way.”

“When I was 20 I’d also maybe say certain things that come across differently. I totally understand where he’s coming from. But we shouldn’t forget what Joel has done for this club and the contribution to the success we’ve had.”

“Jarell is doing great and making big steps. He has to keep improving. So far, so good.”

As awesome as it is to see a young player playing as calm and composed as Quansah has so far, it’s also fantastic to see our captain being mindful not to place too many expectations on the kid and let the hype train get carried away. I’m super excited to see Quansah continue to develop and make his case to be a mainstay of the Liverpool backline over the next couple of seasons.

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