Retrieved 28 April 2020, 16:52 IST
Virgil Van Dijk is “influential power” and Liverpool teammate Joe Gomez is comfortable playing next to him.
Gomez and Van Dijk have forged a strong partnership at the center of the Premier League’s best defense, with the former Jurgen Klopp overcoming significant injury problems to establish himself in the starting XI.
Van Dijk appeared at Anfield in January 2018 as the most expensive defender in the world, a record that came after Harry Maguire’s move to Manchester United and quickly established a close relationship with the England international.
“I said it before, but Virgil’s length was huge before he came to the club,” Gomez told Sky Sports.
“I was a young center back, didn’t really win many games [at Liverpool] As I liked it but as soon as he came in he reached for the open arm and we formed a bond by then.
“The truth is he’s a different person from the pitch to the ground, we get really good and we have a great relationship.
“We talk and at times like this we do facetime and talk about common issues so that the pitch helps you understand. At the end of the day he is your partner.
“Sometimes he gives me a spiritual gift, but it’s a huge help and a booster of confidence for someone like him. When fighting together, you know he’s going to dominate, he doesn’t really lose the title. .
“His presence with you and his presence, it’s not just me, it’s the whole team and the stadium. When Virgil goes down, I think there’s a bit of panting and anxiety but he’s a really influential force and he’s happy to play alongside.”
Gomez joined Liverpool from Charlton Athletic in 2014 at the age of 18 and admitted that it took time to understand the size of the club and the expectations that lie ahead.
Gomez said, “All I knew and looked back on was football. It’s a huge club and to be honest, I don’t think I understood the club’s status and how I entered in terms of expectations.”
“But I think you have to take it forward and you have to accept that when you don’t perform you have to take it over the chin and the reaction is going to be – not in the negative, just out of expectation. Around the club, its a strong one. There is history and you have to maintain it.
“I think as soon as I entered the pre-season I realized the size of the club. I lived in the UK and was accustomed to a training camp somewhere, but in my first Liverpool pre-season we went to Thailand. We stayed at the hotel and it was ridiculous, safety everywhere and hundreds. There were hundreds of people straight from there I realized straight away.
“Then we went to Australia and played against the Brisbane Gorges and the stadium was packed. That was the first time I heard ‘You’ll never run’ and I thought, ‘Yeah, it’s a different scale.’