Neil Warnock has said that Manchester City would pull clear of Liverpool if Pep Guardiola’s side had Virgil van Dijk in their side.
City have struggled defensively this term after Aymeric Laporte’s long-term knee problem but his return from that problem was brief, with the Frenchman suffering more injury woe due to his lack of game time.
Liverpool conceded 22 goals in the Premier League last season and despite letting in 21 to date this time round, Van Dijk has continued to be a vital part of Jurgen Klopp‘s team.
Elsewhere, Dejan Lovren has often been criticised, the Croatian playing into Watford striker Troy Deeney’s game plan during Liverpool’s only league defeat this season.
“[Dejan] Lovren, he wouldn’t get in my team,” the managerial veteran said.
“I look at what they’ve done, if they’ve got [Joe] Gomez alongside Van Dijk, they’ll be okay.
“They’ll start winning again because Gomez makes such a difference with his pace.
“It’s like Man City, I still think Man City are the best. If they got a Van Dijk, I wouldn’t sign anyone else. I’d spend £200million on Van Dijk.
“If they had a Van Dijk in their team, they’d be 10 points in front. I don’t think there’s that much wrong with Man City other than a centre-half like that.”
Liverpool have not kept a clean sheet in five matches and Van Dijk has opened up on why he thinks his side have struggled defensively in recent weeks.
He said: “Obviously, teams have been looking at us and trying to find difficulties for us.
“I think first and foremost, if the ball goes to them [his defensive partner], they challenge.
“Whether you win it or lose it, the most important thing is the second ball.”