Virgil van Dijk is adamant that the mid-season World Cup isn’t the reason for his struggles at Liverpool.
The Dutchman has been below his best at club level thus far in the 2022/23 campaign, making multiple errors and being beaten far more easily than he usually is.
He has looked somewhat sluggish at times, and with him having no fitness issues, one explanation could be that he’s holding himself back a little for the World Cup.
With the Netherlands failing to qualify in 2018, this will be his first time playing at the tournament, and given he’ll be 34 by the time the next one comes around, it could be his last chance to do so.
However, the Liverpool man insists that it’s having an impact on his club performances: “Not at all, not at all,” he told The Times.
“I can assure you that is definitely not the case. We are not in the situation because of that.
“I would understand because of the start we had everyone is looking for ‘Why?’ because the difference is too big [from last season] but I can assure you that is definitely not one of the reasons. You focus on the game at the time and that’s definitely what we’re doing.
“I can only speak for myself and I wouldn’t worry about me. If you think about this I think you are going to have issues, in my opinion. It is just game-by-game and that includes international football.
“I want to go [to the World Cup] but to be ready, in my opinion, is not to focus on hopefully not getting injured, it is just keep playing, get fit, stay fit and get in a good moment.”