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Virgil van Dijk: “We Need the Whole Squad” to Get Through December

The captain is pleased with the victory against Sheffield but cautious for the busy season to come.

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Sheffield United v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Richard Sellers/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images

New captain Virgil van Dijk took care of business on Wednesday when the Reds were thirsty for a goal against home team Sheffield United. In the 37th minute, the defender headed home a corner sent in by Trent Alexander-Arnold to open the scoring. It ultimately proved to be the decision-maker, though Dominik Szoboszlai did add a flourish with a second in added time. Liverpool eventually beat Sheffield United 2-0.

The win kept them on pace with leaders Arsenal and gave them a cushion against Manchester City, who suffered a shock loss to Aston Villa.

After the match, van Dijk spoke about his first goal of the season, and admitted, “Yeah, obviously very important. Big three points, a clean sheet and now we prepare for another big game on Saturday away at Palace.”

The three points is priceless, but the captain understands that they haven’t really entered crunch time. The December fixture headache has been made even more difficult following the news that Joël Matip will miss the remainder of the season with a ruptured ACL.

“Listen, we are in December and there are so many games to come. Unfortunately, the other day we lost Joel Matip and we are all devastated by that,” he said.

This news came at the worst time when, as van Dijk said, “We need the whole squad. To see what we have at the moment, and hopefully players coming back will definitely help in contributing hopefully to success.”

The Reds were already battling without first team regulars Andy Robertson, Diogo Jota, and Alisson, as well as Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic. Adding Matip’s name to the injury list is a blow.

That being said, the Reds have gotten themselves into a strong position almost halfway through the season, despite the injuries, so hopefully we won’t any sort of winter collapse this time.

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