International

Koeman: Van Dijk is too 'laid back' at times

2018-10-10 11:06
Virgil van Dijk (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk needs to avoid being too laid back in games, according to Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman.

READ: 'I don't need the armband to be a leader,' says Pogba

Last month, Van Dijk was caught out of position in the 2-1 Nations League defeat to France, when he was beaten in the air by Olivier Giroud who scored the winning goal with his head, and also gave away a penalty late in the Premier League clash with Manchester City on Sunday.

Koeman knows Van Dijk well, having signed him for Southampton back in 2015, and acknowledges that he is a top defender, but still feels he can do better.

"I told Virgil within 30 seconds of the end of the game against France what I thought," Koeman told the press.

"I know him so well - and that means I know where all his little faults are.

"Virgil has to improve, not a lot, but sometimes he is a little too laid back. That needs to change.

"There are moments as a defender when you should be no more than three feet away from the striker you are marking.

"And, particularly in Van Dijk's case, because of the strength and power he has he is too laid back."

Netherlands will meet Germany in a Nations League fixture on Saturday before a friendly clash with Belgium.

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