Virgil van Dijk was confronted with news that he may be out of action for almost a month, this week. But things look a little less grim for the squad with the arrival of promising young Dutchman Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven.
And van Dijk believes that he must be ready to weather the demands of the Premier League.
“I think he’ll handle it fine but you have no idea what it’s like until you are under this sort of pressure,” Van Dijk said. “He’ll have to keep his head down and look at what we are doing as a group, and listen to the manager, listen to the players around you and don’t listen too much to the outside world because you can be one of the best in the world one day and one of the worst the next.”
At 23 years of age, Gakpo has scored three goals for the Netherlands in the recent World Cup, and put in strong attacking numbers in the Dutch league as well. In terms of mentality, he will need to maintain his cool, and this is an area that will not be a struggle for him, said van Dijk.
“It’s never something in the middle. He has to stay calm and I think he’ll do that. He’s that type of person”, he said.
“I think he can be very good for us. I feel like he will and he probably needs a bit of time. We need quality players and we need players who can decide games and I think over time he can definitely be one of those players, hopefully”, he added.