Steven Gerrard defends Liverpool FC signing over slow start
The Liverpool FC legend believes Virgil van Dijk is still working on his recovery from a long-term knee problem
Steven Gerrard has defended Virgil van Dijk’s mixed start to his Liverpool FC career.
The 26-year-old signed a long-term deal with Liverpool FC last month after the Reds agreed a club record £75m deal with Premier League rivals Southampton.
Van Dijk is the most expensive defender in the world despite his lack of experience playing for a top club in one of the five major European leagues.
The Dutch centre-half wasted no time winning over the Liverpool FC fans with a late winner in a 2-1 victory over Everton in the FA Cup third round at Anfield in January.
Van Dijk struggled in a 1-0 loss to Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium before he conceded a late penalty in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
The £75m signing impressed in Liverpool FC’s 5-0 win against Porto in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Wednesday night.
Former Liverpool FC captain Gerrard believes Van Dijk is still getting up to speed following an injury-hit 12 months.
“You’ve got to remember that he’s had a difficult 12 months,” Gerrard told BT Sport.
“He’s had injuries and missed a lot of football, so it was always going to take a settling in period and him getting used to the team-mates and the surroundings. But I’ve seen really positive signs.
“I think he’s going to be a fantastic player for this squad.”
Liverpool FC are in third place in the Premier League table and two points adrift of Manchester United.
The Reds will take on West Ham United at Anfield in their next Premier League game on Saturday 24 February.