By Frank McAvennie

16th Sep, 2022 | 1:00pm

Pundit hits back at Virgil van Dijk as new Liverpool quotes emerge - 'it's getting to him'

Frank McAvennie has insisted Virgil van Dijk must take criticism of his performances on board after the Liverpool star hit back at ex-football stars in the aftermath of the 2-1 win over Ajax on Tuesday (13 September).

The former Celtic and West Ham striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 31-year-old’s uncharacteristic form this term is “obviously getting to him”.

Van Dijk, who has widely been praised as one of the world’s best defenders in recent years, has been criticised this term for his perceived role in Liverpool’s bad form so far this term.

The Merseysiders have won three of their opening eight games across all competitions and sit seventh in the Premier League.

Speaking after the Champions League victory over Ajax on Tuesday (13 September) and quoted by the Daily Mail, Van Dijk slammed the “ex-football players” who are “saying a lot to get us down”.

He insisted the Reds stars are “not listening to the outside world”.

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McAvennie insisted the Liverpool defence is “too good” to remain disjointed and backed the Merseysiders to go “on a big run”.

He told Football Insider‘s Charlotte Cohen: “Van Dijk is moaning about ex-players talking about him.

“If he can take all the plaudits, then he’s got to take the criticism. He’ll be doing it himself when he’s retired, giving his expert opinion.

“It’s obviously getting to him, the fact that he’s not playing well.

“They’re vulnerable at the back at the moment, but they’re too good to not start gelling again.

“I think they’ll click again and all of a sudden they’ll go on a big run.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire reveals new Liverpool windfall as “huge” deal agreed – “this is the best”.