Liverpool have a new captain but not everyone is happy with Jurgen Klopp’s choice. Meanwhile, pre-season goalscorer Darwin Núñez has been questioned.
Klopp has been told he made a mistake appointing Virgil van Dijk as Liverpool’s new captain.
Former Liverpool defender Jose Enrique has expressed his doubts over Jurgen Klopp’s decision to appoint Virgil van Dijk as the club’s new captain.
Van Dijk has taken over the Liverpool strap after Jordan Henderson’s controversial move to Saudi Arabia. However, Enrique believes Andy Robertson would have been a more worthy candidate for the captaincy.
Enrique, who played for Liverpool from 2011 to 2016, praised Robertson’s leadership and commitment on the pitch. He told Grosvenor Sport:
“I think it would be unlikely that Liverpool’s next captain would be anyone other than Virgil van Dijk, but if I was Jurgen Klopp I would have chosen Andy Robertson or Alisson.
“Maybe he didn’t want to give it to Alisson because he’s the goalkeeper and you want him to be someone who actually plays on the pitch, but I think he deserved it.
“I don’t think Liverpool really have another Jordan Henderson, but I really like Robertson. Robertson is a good leader and always gives his all.”
Enrique said he was unimpressed with some of Van Dijk’s performances last season, citing injuries and an expected lack of form. “Last year I had a lot of doubts about Van Dijk and I know he had injuries, but last year I didn’t see Van Dijk as I expected,” he said.
Enrique also gave his verdict on Liverpool’s attacking lineup for the upcoming season, questioning whether Darwin Núñez — who struggled in his first season at Anfield after joining from Benfica in a record-breaking $108million (£85m) deal — deserves a place in Klopp’s strongest front line. Enrique suggested that Diogo Jota and Luis Díaz should partner Mohamed Salah in Liverpool’s first-choice attack.
“I know he [Núñez] had a great pre-season and some Liverpool fans will think I’m crazy. [But] for me they are the best three. When Luis Díaz is fit he has to play, that’s all there is to say for Salah and Jota has scored many goals.
“It’s true that Jota is a bit fit and has had a few injuries, but if he can keep fit and play like we all know, then I think he’s number nine.
“He can score with either foot, he can score with a header, he can come in, maybe not as good as Roberto Firmino was in that false nine position, but he’s strong and he can keep the ball, so he’s the fullest number nine that Liverpool have.
“If you ask me what is the level of all the players who can play up front at Liverpool, I think these three are the best.”