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Virgil van Dijk on Liverpool’s Unmatched Defensive Depth

The star centre half singled out Joe Gomez for deciding to sign a new deal and stay to fight for minutes with the Reds.

Liverpool Training and Press Conference Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Virgil van Dijk. Joël Matip. Ibrahima Konaté. Joe Gomez. There is no club in football with better quality and depth at centre half than Liverpool, with the game’s consensus top player at the position backed up by three players who would start for almost any other club.

That means that minutes can be tough to come by, and if everyone stays fit at least one player will find themselves short on getting the playing time they deserve. According to Van Dijk, though, that competition for minutes doesn’t get in the way of their relationship.

“We complement each other very well,” noted the world’s best centre half. “The relationship we all have together is also a very big thing, we really enjoy the hard work and we all want the same goal and that’s winning games. Whoever is playing, we support each other.”

The veteran Dutchman added that he sees that camaraderie as one of the keys to success for a side that has won every major trophy they’ve competed for and heads into the 2022-23 season looking to again challenge for the Premier League and Champions League.

Of particular note this off-season for Van Dijk was the decision by teammate Gomez to sign a new deal, with the 25-year-old choosing to stay at one of the best sides in club football rather than leaving to fight for lesser honours but with an easier path to playing time.

“We spoke about it before he signed the deal and I’m just very happy that he’s staying at the club, staying with me,” Van Dijk added of his teammate. “Also I’m happy for the club that he’s signed. He is, in my opinion, [one of] if not the best English centre-backs around.

“Obviously we’ve both been very unlucky with the injuries we had [but] his time will come again and hopefully this season he can show that. We are very blessed as a club and I am very blessed to have these players around me as well.”

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