Koeman says ‘laid back’ van Dijk ‘has to improve’

Ronald Koeman has told Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk ‘has to improve’ and cut out the silly mistakes in his game.

Van Dijk is almost single handedly one of the main reasons Liverpool have been installed as one of the favourites to lift the Premier League title this year, with the £75 million man having instantly solidified the Reds previously leaky and disorganised defence.

However, despite being widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the English game at the moment, former Southampton and Everton manager Ronald Koeman has pointed out his mistimed tackle in Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Man City at the weekend as one of the kind of mistakes he needs to cut out of his game.

“I told Virgil within 30 seconds of the end of the game against France what I thought,” Koeman told the media ahead of the Netherlands UEFA Nations League clash with Germany this weekends

“I know him so well – and that means I know where all his little faults are.

“Virgil has to improve. Not a lot. But sometimes he is a little too laid back. That needs to change.

“There are moments as a defender when you should be no more than three feet away from the striker you are marking.

“And, particularly in Van Dijk’s case, because of the strength and power he has he is too laid back.

“On Monday, when he arrived in our training camp in Zeist, he could see from the look on my face that I was thinking about the foul he made when Liverpool played Man City on Sunday.

“The tackle cost his team a penalty and Virgil realised that he had made the wrong decision.

“It will not affect his chances with me. He is still my main man, but I want him to get better.”

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