Premier League • England

Souness wants more from ‘never angry’ Liverpool star who has stolen Man Utd man’s Prem record

Graeme Souness pundit

Graeme Souness has said that he wants to see Virgil van Dijk play with anger for Liverpool, following his excellent return from injury.

Netherlands centre-back Van Dijk made an instant impact after his arrival from Southampton in January 2018. Indeed, he proved crucial in Jurgen Klopp’s side winning the Premier League and Champions League.

As a result, the Reds missed the 30-year-old when he suffered a serious knee injury last season.

Nevertheless, Van Dijk has returned this season and looked back to his previous best. On Saturday, meanwhile, he put in another solid performance as Liverpool beat West Ham.

The Reds took the lead through Sadio Mane and had chances to score more to ease the pressure. In the end, though, Van Dijk was happy to star at the back to keep Liverpool’s clean sheet and secure a 1-0 win.

The performance saw him rack up his 60th Premier League home game for Liverpool without defeat. And that tally is a record, with Van Dijk beating former Man Utd star Lee Sharpe’s run of 59.

Speaking on Sky Sports‘ coverage of Liverpool’s win, though, Souness insisted that Van Dijk never looks like he is struggling.

“I would like to see him get angry,” the pundit said. “I have never seen a great player who doesn’t get angry.

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“He doesn’t get angry. It is too easy for him.”

At the other end for Liverpool, Luis Diaz had another solid game as the Reds closed the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester City to three points.

The Colombian winger fired just wide of the post in one of his best chances.

However, he also put in a solid shift without the ball, further gelling with manager Klopp’s system.

Souness hailed both aspects of Diaz’s game.

Souness lauds Luis Diaz for Liverpool

Sadio Mane, Luis Diaz of Liverpool

Souness said of Diaz: “He’ll have given everyone a lift. “He’s a player that if you’re a supporter he gets you on the edge of your seat. He’s direct, he’s quick, he’s aggressive.

“He does that thing which crowds love; he loses the ball, sprints back and puts a tackle in to win it back. He goes past people for fun.

“He’s quick, he’s direct. There’s a lot to like about him and this system will suit him perfectly.

He’s just another absolute threat that Liverpool have. Defenders don’t like to play against people who can go past you with either pace or drop of the shoulder and it looks like he’s got both. Super dangerous. A real asset to Liverpool.”

Liverpool return to action on Tuesday when facing Inter in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

The Reds have a 2-0 lead from the first leg in Italy, supplied by Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.