Virgil van Dijk was heavily criticised again for his performance in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Sunday. Is his place in the Liverpool line-up under threat?

During the game on Sunday, Van Dijk struggled with Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus and was booked for hacking him down at one point.

Speaking on Sky Sports, former Manchester United defender Gary Neville said, “He plays like a schoolboy. He looks desperate and childish. He probably sees the danger, but just follows the ball and does nothing at all.”

The Liverpool Echo saw eventual improvement from the centre-back, but they were also critical and talked about a possible successor to van Dijk, “He’s too slow, too slow to react and was nonchalant in the first half hour. That in contrast to his partner Ibrahima Konaté. For a long time, it was his potential successor as defense chief. The changing of the guard seems to be taking place now.”

It has been a difficult season for the Netherlands captain, who was also criticised in the Dutch media for his performances at the World Cup and also recently in the clash against France.

Due to his past performances, Van Dijk is still credited as one of the best centre-backs in football, but the 31-year-old is undoubtedly having a difficult season. If his form does not improve then it is likely that Liverpool will look at their defence in the summer and the Dutchman could lose his spot next season.

That may have consequences for Ronald Koeman, who has Matthijs de Ligt, Nathan Ake, and Sven Botman all excelling for their clubs.

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