Paul Merson believes Virgil van Dijk’s displays during the international break is cause for concern for Liverpool .
The Dutchman has been arguably the Premier League’s standout performer this season and is in the running for the PFA Player of the Year prize.
Liverpool return to action on Sunday when they take on Tottenham at Anfield in what appears to be the toughest game of their run-in.
Van Dijk featured for Holland during the break but wasn’t at his best, particularly in the defeat to Germany as he struggled up against Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane.
And Merson admits it would be a worry if that level of performance continues at club level this weekend.
“We saw a little glimpse of the old Van Dijk while he was on international duty with the Netherlands,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“He’s removed that lackadaisical element of his game this season at Liverpool, but we saw it against Germany when he casually strolled over to Serge Gnabry, and he whipped the ball into the top corner.
“That has not been Van Dijk this season, he has defended properly week in, week out.”
(Image: Sky Sports)
Van Dijk comes up against Harry Kane at Anfield and Merson admits he will need to be at his best to stop him.
“I would be a little worried if I was a Liverpool fan seeing that because you cannot afford to do that against Kane.
“It may be easy for Van Dijk all afternoon but he has to remain focused throughout, because it only takes a second for someone like Kane to punish you.
“The problem for Liverpool is that Van Dijk could have Kane in his pocket for 89 minutes and then, bang, Kane does something out of the ordinary.”