Virgil van Dijk is Liverpool’s first leader since Jamie Carragher, says Emile Heskey 


Virgil van Dijk is Liverpool’s first leader since Jamie Carragher, says Emile Heskey 

Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey says Virgil van Dijk is the club’s first leader since Jamie Carragher.

Van Dijk became the world’s most expensive defender after joining the Reds in a £75million deal from Southampton in January 2018.

Virgil van Dijk has been a revelation at Liverpool

He has started all of Liverpool’s 32 Premier League games this season as they trail leaders Manchester City by one point.

And Heskey, who made 228 appearances for Liverpool across a four-year spell from 2000, likened Van Dijk’s leadership skills to Carragher.

The ex-Reds centre-half was an ever-present in defence during his time at Anfield and was part of the side that came back from three goals down against AC Milan to win the Champions League in 2005.

Heskey, 41, told betoclock.com: “Virgil van Dijk is the one player in the team who is a leader, and they haven’t had that since Jamie Carragher left.

Jamie Carragher and Emile Heskey were Liverpool and England team-mates

“Someone who barks out orders and gets them out of sticky situations.

“He’s the player that team-mates can look up to and he’s the guy that they rely on.”

With Manchester City taking on Brighton in the FA Cup on Saturday, live on talkSPORT, Liverpool have the chance to reclaim top spot in the Premier League when they travel to relegation-threatened Southampton on Friday night, a game which is also live on talkSPORT.

talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here’s what’s coming up on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2…

  • Southampton vs Liverpool (Friday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
  • Norwich vs QPR (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Huddersfield vs Leicester (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Manchester City vs Brighton (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Coventry vs Bristol Rovers (Sunday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Watford vs Wolves (Sunday, 4pm) – talkSPORT

Jurgen Klopp’s men will be buoyed after their last-gasp win over Tottenham last weekend.

Heskey added: “The Spurs match was a huge victory for Liverpool, but they’ve got to keep the pressure on Man City, especially when they are playing so well.