By Paul Robinson

22nd Sep, 2022 | 8:22am

Robinson issues two-word Liverpool verdict after Virgil van Dijk reveal via ESPN

Paul Robinson has claimed Virgil van Dijk is struggling for Liverpool this season because “he has been exposed more.”

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Spurs and England goalkeeper rubbished the idea that the 30-year-old is suffering from a “hangover from last year.”

Van Dijk has had an indifferent start to the 2022-23 campaign, as have many of his teammates.

As revealed by ESPN (16 September), the centre-half has played the most minutes of any player in Europe over the past year.

Palmeiras’ Gustavo Gomez is the only player in the world to play more than the Netherlands international from 15 September 2021 to 14 September 2022.

When asked by Football Insider if last year’s exploits may explain Van Dijk’s sub-par performances thus far, Robinson issued a two-word verdict: “Absolutely not.

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“He is as fit as anybody.

“I think his drop-off in form is nothing to do with fitness levels or fatigue from last season. I just think he is playing in a team that is struggling. He has been more exposed than he has been in previous seasons.

“Liverpool are conceding goals cheaply. When the praise comes from keeping clean sheets, the criticism is going to come when you are playing poorly and conceding goals.

“I think Van DIjk is a victim of the team’s performance rather than any individual struggles. I do not think there is a hangover from last year.”

In other news, a former Fifa official has claimed Liverpool are set to benefit from a major change after reveal from journalist.