By Frank McAvennie

14th Sep, 2021 | 4:00pm

Teams are 'terrified' of Van Dijk and do everything to 'avoid' Liverpool star - pundit

Frank McAvennie has hailed “terrifying” Virgil van Dijk after Liverpool cruised to a 3-0 win over Leeds United.

The former West Ham hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claims the defender’s “presence cannot be overstated”.

Van Dijk played the full game as Liverpool ran out victorious at Elland Road.

He has played every minute for Liverpool this season after missing the majority of last term through injury.

The Reds have only conceded one goal this season as they look to wrestle the Premier League title back from Manchester City.

McAvennie claims Leeds would have approached Sunday’s game differently if Van Dijk had not been in the starting 11.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“Liverpool looked so comfortable against Leeds,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.

“It could have been six or seven really. The front three were really enjoying themselves.

“They looked like they did when they won the league, we didn’t see that enough last season.

“Leeds are by no means an easy team to beat and the defence held up well.

“If Van Dijk wasn’t there, like last season, I think that game would have gone differently.

“Teams are terrified of him, there’s a fear factor, they try and avoid him and that breaks up attacks. It’s great to see.

“His influence cannot be overstated, it’s unbelievable.”

Van Dijk, 30, has made 134 appearances for the Reds since joining the club from Southampton

Liverpool are in Champions League action this week as they welcome AC Milan to Anfield.

In other news, Kieran Maguire ‘wowed’ by ‘remarkable’ attack on Liverpool and reveals how FSG will react.