BT Sport pundit credits Van Dijk for getting best out of Alexander-Arnold in Liverpool FC’s 2-0 win
Joe Cole believes Virgil van Dijk is partly responsible for Trent Alexander-Arnold's return to form after Liverpool FC's 2-0 win over Burnley
Peter Crouch believes the return of Virgil van Dijk will provide Trent Alexander-Arnold with more freedom to get forward this season after the full-back impressed in Liverpool FC’s 2-0 win over Burnley.
The Netherlands started his first Premier League game at Anfield in almost 12 months for the visit of Burnley in the second fixture of the 2021-22 season following Liverpool FC’s 3-0 win at Norwich City last weekend.
Van Dijk and Joel Matip managed to keep Ashley Barnes at bay despite the Burnley striker producing a physically bruising performance against the Liverpool FC centre halves.
The presence of Van Dijk and Matip appeared to give Alexander-Arnold and Konstantinos Tsimikas freedom to push further forward to help unlock the Burnley defence.
Tsimikas produced a brilliant cross to allow Diojo Jota to break the deadlock in the 18th minute as the Portugal international scored in successive games.
Alexander-Arnold created Liverpool FC’s second goal with a deft pass to find Sadio Mane in space in the Burnley penalty area and the Senegal international emphatically finished past Nick Pope.
The English full-back was named Liverpool FC’s man of the match by BT Sport co-commentator Steve McManaman after his influential performance.
BT Sport pundit Crouch reckons Van Dijk’s return to the Liverpool FC starting XI will continue to give Alexander-Arnold more freedom to play a creative role in Jurgen Klopp’s team.
“He’s been talked about in terms of potentially playing in central midfield,” Crouch told BT Sport.
“I mean that pass. How has he even drifted in there in the first place? It was a beautiful pass and a tremendous finish from Mane.”
Crouch added: “The central midfield role is somewhere where we didn’t see him a lot last season. I don’t know whether it’s Virgil van Dijk has come back and he feels more comfortable going forward and staying there.
“He was in a position that was almost a no10 role. It was a beautiful pass and finish.”