Chelsea star Tammy Abraham has heaped praise on Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk, suggesting that the Dutchman is a nightmare for strikers like himself.
Van Dijk, 28, is widely seen as the best centre-back in world football at the moment after helping Liverpool win the Champions League title in his first full season on Merseyside last term.
The former Southampton defender kept Abraham quiet last month when Liverpool won 2-1 against Chelsea and the striker has now delivered his gushing verdict on the Anfield star.
“He’s a beast,” said Abraham, as quoted by the Mirror. “He’s just good at what he does. He’s experienced. I try to do a little… I try to use my tricks in my head but his understanding of the game is top drawer.
“It is to do with little things. Movement. My movement in the box, some defenders don’t pay attention to me – they are only focussed on the ball.
“With him, it’s kind of both, he’s paying attention to me and the ball, knows where I am, knows where I want to go, follows me.
“It’s quite annoying for a striker – just leave me alone!”
It must be good for van Dijk when he hears things like this. It’s not every day that a striker comes out and admits just how good a centre-back can be and how frustrated they can get when playing against them. Van Dijk has not been at his very best for Liverpool in the opening weeks of this season. He’s not quite reached the heights of last term just yet but it’s still early days and a lot of the shine has been taken off the Netherlands international’s displays due to Joel Matip playing so well alongside him in the defence. Liverpool still have the best defensive record in the Premier League though as it stands but Jurgen Klopp and van Dijk will no doubt want to be keeping more clean sheets than they have done. Alisson Becker should return from injury after the international break to help sort out the fact that Liverpool are leaking goals every now and then. Although it’s not a major issue and the Reds are top of the table, it’s still something that Klopp needs to keep an eye on and rectify if he can.