Ryan Babel claims to know Virgil van Dijk’s secret weakness

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 19: Virgil van Dijk of the Netherlands and Ryan Babel of the Netherlands looks dejected during the UEFA Nations League A group one match between Germany and Netherlands at Veltins-Arena on November 19, 2018 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel suggests that he knows a way to beat Virgil van Dijk that nobody else in the Premier League is aware of yet.

Since completing a record £75m transfer from Southampton in January 2018, Van Dijk has been sensational at the heart of the Liverpool defence and is now regarded as one of the key players of Jurgen Klopp’s squad.

The Netherlands captain has been even credited for playing a large role in Liverpool’s league-best record of just 17 goals being conceded in their 30 games, which has played a big role in the Reds’ push for a first league title since 1990.

Aside from that, Van Dijk isn’t doing too badly on the goal front either by finding the net four times and providing three assists in his 37 appearances this season.

Speaking ahead to Fulham’s match against Liverpool on Sunday though, Babel expressed his confidence in going up against his Holland team-mate due to his inside knowledge of a key weakness that he’s prepared to exploit.

“Virgil has definitely developed over the past few years,” Babel told The Times.

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“I think he can get better by 30 per cent. I still feel he plays on 70 per cent. He can do much more. He can be fast if he wants.

“He does have a weakness, I don’t want to say what it is. I don’t think in the Premier League anyone has made that aware yet.”

Babel joined Fulham in the January transfer market on a six-month loan deal from Turkish side Besiktas, with whom he will be out of contract with at the end of the season.

The 32-year-old has since found the net once and provided three assists in his eight Premier League games for Fulham, who find themselves down in 19th-place and 13 points adrift from safety.

The Fulham and Liverpool match will take place at Craven Cottage on Sunday with kick-off set for 3:15 PM (CET).

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 03: Kepa Arrizabalaga of Chelsea collects the ball under pressure from Ryan Babel of Fulham during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Chelsea FC at Craven Cottage on March 03, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)