Liverpool ignoring media's champions chat, says Van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk says speculation about Liverpool's title contender tag is not being taken seriously by the team.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk   -  Getty Images

Virgil van Dijk insists Liverpool will pay no attention to being talked up as potential Premier League champions.

Heavy investment on the likes of Alisson, Naby Keita and Fabinho has seen many pundits tout Liverpool as the most likely challenger to Manchester City, which won the title by 19 points in 2017-18.

A 4-0 demolition of West Ham at Anfield on Sunday saw forwards Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah pick up where they left off last season and enhanced suggestions they can contend.

Liverpool top the Premier League table after the first round of games but Van Dijk says Klopp's men will stay grounded.

"We've seen the media writing about us as the new champions and stuff but we don't really look at those things," Van Dijk said.

Read: Neville hopes Shaw is on to something special after first United goal

"We need to just focus game by game. We want to do well. We want to achieve greater things so we need to be ready for any challenge, any battle that comes to us.

"We are very well prepared, we were looking forward to this game and I think everyone could see it.

"For us it is key that we don't look too much at other teams. We need to look at ourselves and be ready every week for any opponent we face. That is key at the moment."

Despite the big-money signings of Keita and Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum started at Anfield against West Ham and the Netherlands midfielder welcomes the added depth.

"I always want to play," Wijnaldum said. "This kind of competition you have to get in a team like Liverpool. I think Manchester City and Chelsea, with the new signings that they've made, have it also.

"I think in each position there is competition and it's good. Back in the day it was not different. You just have to do your best for the manager.

"It has to be normal at a club like Liverpool - a club that will always buy good players, even if they already have good players. It makes the competition even bigger but that suits a big club like Liverpool."

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos