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Liverpool defender Van Dijk wishes for Matip’s quality after Leeds United beauty

18:43 GMT 24/02/2022
Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip - Liverpool
The former Cameroon centre-back showed the other side of his game with a goal in Wednesday's emphatic win at Anfield

Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk has wished for Joel Matip’s skills which he showed off in their 6-0 hammering of Leeds United on Wednesday.

Matip pushed forward to double the Reds’ lead with his first Premier League goal of the season after a fine one-two pass with Mohamed Salah.

The 30-year-old continues to show his attacking qualities after providing an assist for Diogo Jota earlier this month in Liverpool's 2-0 victory over Leicester City.

When asked about Matip’s skills, Van Dijk told the club’s website: “It’s a big quality of him – I wish I had that quality at times!

“He just can go without any fear at all and hope for the best a little bit! But he has that quality. It’s a big strength of him and obviously, it’s useful because it drags other players from their position and today obviously the space was there to make that run and finish it off.

“I said to him already before the game I felt it coming because he had an assist for Diogo and I said, ‘A goal is next!’ so I’m obviously very happy for him.”

Matip struggled with injuries in the previous seasons with the Reds but he is currently enjoying a fine run of games in this campaign with 21 league starts so far.

Van Dijk added that the 30-year-old's injury-free campaign has been a boost for the Reds.

“I think also himself, mentally he is at a good place,” he said. “I think the four of us, because we cannot forget Joe, who is obviously not even in the squad at the moment, but four of us are keeping each other as sharp as we can.

“We need everyone and obviously it’s very good to see that he is fit, he is playing on a high level and whether I play with him, Ibou[Konate] or Joe, it’s always good to be out there together and work hard.”