Fulham winger Ryan Babel has claimed Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has a weakness that has yet to be exposed in the Premier League.
The duo are teammates at international level with the Netherlands, and ahead of the Cottagers’ clash with the title-chasing Reds on Sunday, Babel admitted that whilst the £75m defender has developed considerably in recent seasons, he still sees a flaw in his game.
He told The Times: “Virgil has definitely developed over the past few years. 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, who played for the Reds between 2007 and 2011, also revealed that his time at Anfield saw him develop an affection for the club, and hopes that they will end their near-three decade wait for the league title this season.
The 32-year-old added: “I do have a weakness for Liverpool and I do want them to be champions.
“I left Liverpool through the back door. It’s a prestige thing to prove people wrong. I was loved in Liverpool, I had good relationship with the fans and my team-mates but I felt I could do better. At the same time I was 21, 22, 23 — not every player has maturity and I needed the guidance I had at Ajax. What can you do if you’re not playing, what can you do differently?”