Date: 6th February 2018 at 8:25am
Written by:

By Richard Parks

Virgil van Dijk has hit out at Jamie Carragher after he was told to lose some weight by the Liverpool legend and Sky Sports pundit.

The Holland international has had a mixed start to his career at the Merseyside giants after completing a club-record £75million transfer from Southampton at the start of the January transfer window.
The strapping centre-back, 26, scored a late winner on his debut against Everton in the Merseyside derby but was guilty of errors in the league matches against Swansea City and last Sunday against Tottenham, when he conceded the late penalty that was converted by Harry Kane.Van Dijk has also faced his critics, with Carragher suggesting he has been hampered by not having a proper pre-season at St Mary’s Stadium and suggested he needed to shed some timber after hewas dropped for the match against Huddersfield last week.

“I think it will prove to be a great signing, but he hasn’t hit the ground running,” Carragher said following the defeat to West Brom.“I think he needs to get fit and lose a bit of weight.”

Jurgen Klopp hit back at the Liverpool legend by defending Van Dijk and the player himself has called on Carragher to meet him in the Liverpool changing room to see for himself what shape he is really in.

“He (Carragher) needs to come into the dressing room and he can see if I need to lose some weight because I don’t think I need to lose some weight!” Van Dijk said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.

“I have been out for eight months – last January until September really and I didn’t play at Premier League level.

“It is not easy to come back, especially when I have made such a big step as now with all the eyes on me and they look at every small detail.

“I am just focusing on the team and myself. Other people will talk and have their opinions. There is nothing I can do about that. I will just try and enjoy my game and enjoy being here and that is what I am definitely doing.”

The 6ft 4in defender missed the second half of last season with the Saints due to an ankle injury and has only started 13 Premier League games so far in 2017-18.

He was paired at the back by Dejan Lovren for the 2-2 draw against Tottenham, although the general view is that Van Dijk and Joel Matip is the team’s best centre-back combination.

In other Liverpool news, the Merseyside giants have pounced to sign a £90,000-a-week proven Premier League ace available for nothing in a few weeks.

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