Liverpool skipper Virgil van Dijk brings up old Arsenal wounds in costly transfer reminder | Football | Sport

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has reminded Arsenal that they may have made a mistake in allowing Olivier Giroud to leave the club in 2018. The defender has revealed that the ex-Gunners star is one of the most difficult opponents he has ever faced, in incredibly high praise for the French No. 9.

Van Dijk is widely regarded as one of the best defenders to have ever graced the Premier League, with his pace, power and leadership making him a striker’s nightmare. The ex-Southampton star has come out on top when facing numerous different types of strikers, and to earn his praise is certainly an indicator of world-class talent.

Speaking earlier this week to France Football, Van Dijk revealed that Giroud was one of the best forwards he has ever been tasked with keeping under control. He explained: “The toughest attacker I faced? I think it was Olivier Giroud.

“Every time, it seems like you’re marking him well. But he always manages to score, in one way or another. With the head, with the foot, with the knee… He often scored against me.

“Then, I don’t forget Sergio Aguero, who was very strong, but also Erling Haaland and Gabriel Jesus. Every one (of these strikers) makes you have very difficult matches.”

Giroud was sold by Arsenal to Chelsea in 2018 for an undisclosed fee, leaving the club after making 180 appearances for the Gunners and scoring 73. And a player of his calibre and style could be the type of striker that Arteta is scouring the market for this month given that Arsenal are keen to acquire the services of a marquee striker that will be the focal point of their attacks.

Van Dijk then went on to heap praise on another France international, his Liverpool teammate Ibrahima Konate. The ex-RB Leipzig star has formed a rock-solid partnership with the Reds skipper this season, and he has the potential to improve further and become ‘world-class’, according to Van Dijk.

The Dutchman said: “Ibrahima is already a very, very good player. He is still learning, but he is progressing quickly. And the way he plays already at his age [24] is truly remarkable. It’s a real pleasure to be able to work with him, to be around him every day, to see him improve a little more every day. I’m really happy with everything that’s happening to him. I really think he can become one of the best defenders in the world.”

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