Liverpool hero Stephen Warnock has explained why Joe Gomez makes Virgil van Dijk a better player.
Van Dijk has impressed since moving to Anfield in January 2018 and is regarded as one of the best centre-backs in world football.
But the Dutchman struggled against Watford on Saturday as the Hornets ended Liverpool’s unbeaten Premier League season.
Dejan Lovren was alongside Van Dijk in defence with Gomez having missed out due to a “little bit of an injury”.
Watford goalscorer Troy Deeney admitted the hosts targeted Lovren at Vicarage Road. And Warnock believes Gomez’s ability helps Van Dijk when the pair are together.
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“I’ve said for a long, long time now that Joe Gomez makes Van Dijk such a better player,” Warnock said on Astro SuperSport.
“Van Dijk has that opportunity to go tight to players because he knows Gomez has that pace in behind.
“Gomez can give you two or three yards, he will still catch you. So he knows that he can go tight himself.
“I just think the way Gomez plays as well suits Van Dijk. Partnerships are not always the ones that you think will work as well as they do.
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“They compliment each other so well.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said after the loss: “I am not surprised by the performance because it would mean I have never seen something like that before – and I have seen it a lot of times.
“So, what I can say, I think 3-0 is a bit harsh but we had a big hand in that, so we don’t have to think about that.
“We have to start with the most important thing and that is congratulate Watford, well deserved – that is what should be the headline.
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“We didn’t perform like we should have and Watford performed exactly how they wanted.
“First half, there were little football things that didn’t work out for us like from where we wanted to cross, from where we wanted to pass, when we wanted to play the balls in behind, when we used the runs – things we usually do naturally right, we didn’t do it right tonight so that makes a game already pretty intense, where you think ‘it’s not an easy one today’.
“I knew it before it was not easy but then you really feel it.”
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