Virgil van Dijk believes Liverpool’s comfortable victory in the Merseyside derby confirmed every member of Jürgen Klopp’s squad is ready and content to play their part in the club’s pursuit of the Premier League title.
Klopp made five changes against Everton but witnessed no disruption as his league leaders swept aside Marco Silva’s team on Wednesday. Xherdan Shaqiri marked his first start in seven months with the second goal in the 5-2 win and a fine overall display while Adam Lallana impressed in only his second league start of the season. Divock Origi flourished in a derby again with two goals in his fourth start of the Premier League campaign.
Van Dijk insists Liverpool’s performance level would not have been possible without squad players feeling they have a vital role to play, and admits the derby bodes well for the demanding schedule ahead.
The Liverpool defender said: “The players who came into the team don’t play regularly at all. Look at Divock, Shaqiri, they did fantastic. We played Adam, Milly [James Milner]; everyone is contributing and we need everyone. That is the key message and it is good. The season is very long. This month is very long – January as well – so we need everyone to be ready.
“We have a big squad and everyone is part of what is going on at the moment. Everyone is happy with the situation we are in. And everyone is also feeling responsible as well, ready to play or if you are on the bench. Everyone is part of the success we have and that is the message to everyone and so far, so good.”
Klopp’s only complaint on the night concerned Liverpool’s defending, with his team failing to keep a clean sheet for 13 consecutive matches in all competitions.
“No one wants to concede goals even if you win the game,” said Van Dijk. “But I am not going to go to bed thinking: ‘Oh shit, we conceded a goal.’ It is all about the team winning games. We want to win in the best way possible and obviously that is by not conceding but if we win it with conceding then everyone is still happy.”