News Live Scores
Liverpool

Van Dijk ‘does have a weakness,' claims international team-mate Babel

22:09 SAST 2019/03/15
Virgil van Dijk Liverpool 2018/19
The Fulham man claims he knows a flaw in the defender's game that no one else in the Premier League knows about

Fulham attacker Ryan Babel has claimed Virgil van Dijk does have a weakness in his game.

The Liverpool defender has been lauded for his exceptional performances this season, with manager Jurgen Klopp claiming recently that he could ‘write a book’ on Van Dijk’s qualities.

The former Southampton man has not missed a single minute of Liverpool’s Premier League campaign this year and was absent for just one Champions League game for the Reds through suspension.

It’s not just at club level where Van Dijk has impressed in 2018-19, as he has also stood out on the international stage, having captain the Netherlands to the Nations League semi-finals.

Babel is an international colleague of the Liverpool centre-back and believes the insider knowledge of his team-mates' skillset could prove vital when the Reds travel to take on Fulham on Sunday in the Premier League.

“Virgil has definitely developed over the past few years,” Babel told The Times. “I think he can get better by 30 per cent. I still feel he plays on 70 per cent. He can do much more. He can be fast if he wants.

“He does have a weakness. I don’t want to say what it is. I don’t think in the Premier League anyone has made that aware yet.”

Babel is preparing to face his former side this weekend. The winger spent four years at Anfield between 2007 and 2011, and made nearly 150 appearances for the Merseysiders.

While Babel admits he could have made more of his time at Liverpool, he has stated he still has a soft spot for the club.

“I do have a weakness for Liverpool and I do want them to be champions,” said the 32-year-old. 

“I left Liverpool through the back door. It’s a prestige thing to prove people wrong. I was loved in Liverpool, I had good relationship with the fans and my team-mates but I felt I could do better. 

“At the same time I was 21, 22, 23 — not every player has maturity and I needed the guidance I had at Ajax. What can you do if you’re not playing, what can you do differently?

A win for Liverpool on Sunday would see them return to the top of the Premier League table, with Manchester City involved in FA Cup action this weekend.

As for Fulham, they must start picking up points if they are to avoid the drop. The Cottagers are currently 13 points from safety with just eight games left.