Virgil van Dijk admits he lacked the definitive characteristics of a center-back and played as a right-back during his early days.
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has remained an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s team ever since making his €85 million switch from Southampton back in 2018.
A commanding figure at the back, Van Dijk’s arrival kickstarted Liverpool’s dominant period, who now boasts a hat-trick of silverware so far during his stay at Anfield.
But not the entirety of the 28-year old’s career is filled with success stories and he claims to have struggled to make a mark during his early days.
“When I was young I wasn’t so tall until I had a growth spurt. My knee was a little unstable. I had problems with my groin.” Van Dijk told Sport.
“At 16, I was a right-back and I wasn’t good enough to play as a center-back. I never stood out as a player until I got to the U19s and was named captain.
“Sometimes I played as a full-back, other times in the middle. From there, everything got much better.”