Virgil van Dijk told he 'has no leadership skills' as Ruud Gullit blasts Liverpool star & Frenkie de Jong following Netherlands' Nations League failure

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Virgil van Dijk Netherlands 2023
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been told he “has no leadership skills”, with Ruud Gullit slamming the underperforming Netherlands captain.
  • Two defeats suffered in Nations League finals
  • Reds centre-half filled the armband
  • Dutch icon disappointed at supposedly key men

WHAT HAPPENED? The Dutch endured a disastrous end to their 2023 UEFA Nations League campaign, with back-to-back defeats suffered against Croatia and Italy to finish that competition in fourth place. Returning head coach Ronald Koeman has now suffered three losses through four games back at the helm, with Gullit of the opinion that he is being let down by supposed on-field leaders such as Van Dijk – who fills the armband – and Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

WHAT THEY SAID: Dutch legend Gullit has told De Telegraaf: “I think Van Dijk and De Jong don't have leadership skills. Actually, I'm asking them for something they don't have. They need more attention to their own game. It's difficult for a coach to work without leaders on the pitch and it's supposed to be that Van Dijk and De Jong should be those leaders.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: It is not the first time that Van Dijk’s captaincy has been called into question, with Marco van Basten branding him “arrogant” and accusing the Liverpool star of creating “chaos” during a 4-0 defeat to France in March.

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Virgil van Dijk Netherlands 2023

Frenkie de Jong Netherlands 2023

WHAT NEXT? Van Dijk, who is now 31 years of age, has taken in 58 appearances for his country and will be hoping that a spark can be rediscovered under his leadership – on the back of reaching the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup – when the Netherlands return to action in Euro 2024 qualification.