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Virgil van Dijk

‘Difficult to measure what Van Dijk does for Liverpool’ – Gomez in awe of his Anfield ‘big brother’

11:35 GMT 21/01/2020
Virgil van Dijk Liverpool 2019-20
A fellow defender on Merseyside admits that a commanding Dutch centre-half offers much more to the cause then merely presence at the back

Virgil van Dijk is so important to the Liverpool cause that it is now difficult to “measure what he does for us”, admits the Dutchman’s Anfield team-mate Joe Gomez.

Any initial questions of the £75 million ($98m) transfer fee it took to take the commanding centre-half to Merseyside in 2018 have been silenced in style.

Van Dijk has become a talismanic figure for Jurgen Klopp, with his mere presence considered to have helped lift Liverpool to the heights they currently occupy.

Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup crowns have been secured by the relentless Reds, with the Premier League title now well within their reach.

Ballon d’Or runner-up Van Dijk continues to lead the pursuit of more major silverware, with his latest outing seeing him score and collect a clean sheet in a 2-0 victory over Manchester United, with Gomez among those to have been left in awe of a remarkable colleague.

The Liverpool defender told the club’s official website: “I’m buzzing for Virg. Everyone knows how happy I am when he scores and it’s nice for us to put work in in training on those set-pieces and then they come off.

“I don’t think it’s easy to measure what he does for us as a team. He’s such a dominant character, a dominant player. He’s a special player and we’re lucky to have him at the club - he’s my big brother! He’s a top player and a top person to be alongside.”

Gomez impressed alongside Van Dijk against United and is enjoying the regular run handed to him by Klopp of late.

The England international added: “It’s been positive for me to get a nice run of games and I think the biggest thing is I’m trying to do my best to contribute to the team.

“We know how important each game is and on a personal note and as a team, I think we just focus on the next game. 

“No-one’s getting ahead of themselves or thinking any further than the next game and that’s what’s most important about this team. We’ve got so many characters in the dressing room as well as the manager to keep it like that. It’s just about keeping our heads down, focusing and cracking on.”

Gomez has contributed to Liverpool opening up a 16-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, while still boasting a game in hand, but says nobody at Anfield is taking a title triumph for granted.

The 22-year-old said when asked if the Reds, without top-flight success in 30 years, are looking at the standings: “No, not at all.

“We just focus on each game and the three points that are ahead of us at the time, [we’re] not focusing on the points [total] or whatever. We’re in this position and it’s one that we’re focused on and just hungry to finish off.”

Record-breaking Liverpool will be back in action on Thursday when they take in a trip to Wolves.