Liverpool defender Van Dijk: You should never take Alisson for granted

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk says Alisson was crucial for victory over Southampton on Saturday.

Liverpool were indebted to a trio of second-half saves from Alisson to ensure a fourth successive victory, with the goalkeeper’s freshly-shaven look having caused a stir in the dressing room before the game.

“I said to him ‘you look like an American guy’, just a random guy!” said Van Dijk. “He sometimes does it and this was how he prepared himself for the World Cup, but what a guy. We have a great relationship with him and hopefully he will do well in the World Cup.

“You shouldn’t take anyone for granted and he’s had a very successful last six years. We certainly never do that. He’s important for the group on and off the pitch. We don’t want him to have to make saves, first and foremost. He had to do so (on Saturday) and he was outstanding.”

Van Dijk’s Netherlands could meet Brazil in the semi-finals of the World Cup next month, and he said: “Brazil are a very good team, they have two of the best goalies in their squad, and in my opinion the best goalie in the world is Alisson. It will be difficult in this form to get past him. If we play against him, I will try my best.”

Roberto Firmino scored Liverpool’s opener against Southampton to strengthen his position as the top-scoring Brazilian in the Premier League this season with nine goals.

That, though, wasn’t enough for the 31-year-old to be called into his country’s squad for the World Cup, and Van Dijk added: “I think Bobby should be in, but who am I to say that? It’s a decision for the manager to make and fortunately for Bobby, he’s going on holiday.

“He took it on the chin, all you can do is recover and be ready for the rest of the season and I think he will do that.”