Liverpool yet to use Van Dijk’s free-kick talents that could prove game-winner

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He has pace, power, impeccable reading of the game, strength, passing, and he can head a ball – oh, and he also looks completely ice cool when doing all of the above.

Virgil van Dijk has picked up from where he left off, recovering from a devastating knee injury last season to provide the defensive foundations for another Liverpool title challenge.

Even though he became the most expensive defender in world football when Liverpool paid Southampton £75m for his services on New Year’s Day in 2018, he has proven to be a bargain with his outstanding performances.

While he already appears to be a defender handmade and crafted by the footballing gods, there is one other trick up his sleeve which is relatively unseen by the Premier League.

The Dutchman is also a fierce striker of the ball who is more than capable of bending a free-kick into the top corner from 30-yards out.

He demonstrated his dead ball prowess while playing for Celtic, where he scored two back-to-back free-kicks for the Scottish giants against Hibernian and Dundee United in 2014.

However, he has been low down in the set piece pecking order ever since his days at Southampton between 2015 and 2018.

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During his time with the Saints, he was often behind the likes of James Ward-Prowse, Dusan Tadic, and Cedric Soares.

At Liverpool, very little has changed, with the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah currently the first choice free-kick takers at Anfield.

However, a video posted by van Dijk during his Southampton days demonstrates he did not leave his free-kick taking abilities in Scotland.

It appears the Reds should consider the 30-year-old defender for any future efforts that may present themselves.

It could even prove to be a game changer if Klopp’s side take a risk and give van Dijk first refusal on future set pieces.

If his dead ball abilities are half as good as his defensive attributes, then Liverpool would have quite the weapon on their hands.

  • Liverpool FC
  • Virgil van Dijk
  • Premier League

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