Virgil van Dijk has been credited as having a calming influence on Liverpool’s defensive line which has helped them become English champions for the first time in 30 years, but the centre-back admits he often goes “nuts” on the pitch. Jurgen Klopp has completely transformed Liverpool into European and Premier League champions over the past few years.
Players such as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and club captain Jordan Henderson have developed into world class players under Klopp’s stewardship.
The Liverpool boss has been astute in the transfer market with signings such as Andy Robertson and Joel Matip while Trent Alexander-Arnold has come through the academy.
But the centre of defence was still an area Klopp wanted to make a drastic change too in 2017.
He was made to wait until January 2018 before eventually signing his man in Van Dijk for £75million.
The huge outlay though has been justified with the Holland international helping Liverpool take that step to become Premier League champions.
Van Dijk’s colossus presence at the back has also helped both Matip and Joe Gomez improve their games as well as Alexander-Arnold and Robertson.
He has been praised for his calming influence on the Liverpool defence, but the 28-year-old admits his emotions can still get the better of him at times.
“If you look at us as a team, defending is something everyone is doing,” he said on Premier League Productions.
“Stuff from the front with the way players are pressing up front and the midfield, how much energy they put in is incredible.
“Obviously the worst case scenario if they come to our last line then we have to do it.
“If they come past us then we have this amazing goalie, I think the best goalie in world football.
“I try to stay calm. Obviously there are moments where you will see me going nuts and maybe Hendo at times.
“Sometimes you have to be calm because team-mates look to you and if you are the one who’s stressing then they will stress as well.
“I try to stay as calm as I can, find solutions as good as they come and there are obviously times where you have to switch off.”
Liverpool are back in action for the first time since being confirmed champions when they take on rivals Manchester City on Thursday night.
The Reds have already broken a number of City’s previously held records from their impressive title win this campaign, and Klopp has hinted the club won’t stop there.