Club in 'transition phase' - Van Dijk

Virgil Van Dijk
Virgil Van Dijk

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk has said the Reds are in a "transition phase" after failing to qualify for this season's Champions League.

The 32-year-old defender said he felt he had got off to a promising start this campaign, adding that the fact Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp "considers me part of Liverpool 2.0" is a show of faith.

"It's nice to feel that the manager still considers me part of the new team," said Van Dijk, who is on international duty with the Netherlands.

"We spoke a lot in the first weeks of preparation. That showed confidence in me."

Van Dijk was sent off in the first half of the Reds' 2-1 win at Newcastle United earlier this month, and was subsequently charged by the Football Association over his conduct towards the referee in the aftermath.

"That was not typical for me," the centre-back added. "I've never got one before at Liverpool, and I think only about four times in my entire career. But apart from that I still started the season well."

Liverpool endured a challenging 2022-23 campaign before coming into form towards the end of the season to qualify for the Europa League.

And Van Dijk says he has honed in on his own contribution.

"I have spoken a lot with people around me in recent months. My wife is very important in this but I also have people at the club with whom I talk a lot," he said.

"It starts with being self-critical as a football player and always wondering how things can be better. At the end of last season, I already noticed that I was improving."