Virgil van Dijk’s £75 million move to Liverpool has rejuvenated belief in Liverpool’s defence. The hulking centre-back made a mark on his debut for Liverpool scoring a goal in the Reds’ 2-1 FA Cup win over Everton. With a goal and solid defensive performance against the Toffees, is it time for Fantasy Premier League managers to buy Van Dijk or to cash-in on the defender?
A case for Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk joined Liverpool having obtained a mere 25 FPL points with Southampton. The giant defender is currently priced a £5.4. It isn’t cheap for the return managers have got from him so far. However, now with Liverpool, the Dutchman could finish the season as one of FPL’s top defensive points scorers.
Van Dijk played in just one of Southampton’s first six games. It wasn’t until gameweek 9 that the defender had his first substantial points return in fantasy football. A win against West Brom saw Van Dijk tally nine points. The centre-back has failed to equal that mark since, and in his last 90 minute performance for the Saints versus Leicester, Van Dijk scored zero points.
Why will Virgil van Dijk be different at Liverpool?
Van Dijk’s teammates are a massive upgrade to the players he had around him at Southampton. Currently fourth in the Premier League, Van Dijk has the league’s second best scoring attack in front of him. His added muscle in the heart of the Reds’ defence will only make the side better. Goals will still be scored, but Van Dijk and centre-back partners Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren should keep clean sheets, too.
Sure, Liverpool are vulnerable at the back, which is actually down to the lack of a defensive midfielder to protect the centre-halves, but Van Dijk will certainly improve the team’s rearguard. If the Reds can continue to score and Van Dijk can help keep out goals, then Liverpool will be a far stronger team than in the first half of the season.
Liverpool are still missing pieces
Although Van Dijk has the potential to score FPL points from goals and clean sheets, Liverpool are in need of a defensive midfielder. By adding muscle to protect the back four, the team would be far better at preventing goals. If the team could sign a capable tackler and ball winner in the centre of the park, Liverpool would not only rival the top two in the Premier League; but FPL managers would reap even more points from the Reds’ players.
Van Dijk is well down the list of top scoring defenders. More performances like his Liverpool debut, however, should see him more than double his current points by the end of the term.