Simon Mignolet says Alisson’s drop in form is because he is ‘missing Virgil van Dijk’ and adds that ‘Liverpool with or without the defender is a huge difference’
- Simon Mignolet has put Alisson’s poor form down to Virgil van Dijk’s absence
- The Brazilian No 1 has suffered behind a constantly changing backline
- Jurgen Klopp lost Van Dijk to an anterior cruciate ligament injury in October
- The Reds have endured a torrid Premier League season with Van Dijk out
Simon Mignolet has put Alisson’s drop in form down to Liverpool missing Virgil van Dijk, after the Belgian saw first-hand the effect he had on the Reds’ defence.
The Brazilian keeper has not been in the imperious form Reds fans expect of him this season, as his side have endured a torrid Premier League campaign.
Liverpool lost Van Dijk to an anterior cruciate ligament injury after a collision with Everton’s Jordan Pickford in October, and former Reds stopper Mignolet thinks their lack of stability at the back has played a major role in Alisson’s struggles.
Simon Mignolet has put Alisson’s drop in form down to Virgil van Dijk’s absence due to injury
Mignolet (left) said Liverpool ‘with or without Van Dijk (second right) was a huge difference’
‘That (Alisson’s form) will have several reasons,’ Mignolet told Sporza’s De Tribune podcast.
‘On the one hand, he has had a few injuries, but there is also the fact that they have been missing Virgil van Dijk for almost the whole season.
‘That’s a chunk of stability that’s gone anyway. That was actually already a difference when I was there. Van Dijk came when I ended up on the bench.
‘From the moment he started playing, we stopped goals. Liverpool with or without him is a huge difference, I think.’
Alisson barely put a foot wrong in his first two seasons at Liverpool as the Reds stormed to Champions League and Premier League titles.
But the Brazilian has suffered behind a backline that Klopp has had to change multiple times this season due to injuries.
Liverpool’s No 1 was particularly shaky in their 4-1 defeat to Manchester City in February, in which he made two costly errors when passing the ball out which led to goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling.
Van Dijk was similarly influential in the Reds’ Champions League and Premier League successes under Klopp and his absence has been keenly felt.
Liverpool lost Van Dijk to a season-ending injury in the first Merseyside derby of the season
Alisson made two costly errors in three minutes to gift Manchester City two goals in February
His season-ending injury in the Merseyside derby set the tone for a dismal title defence in which multiple factors have conspired against Klopp’s side.
Serious injuries to Joel Matip and Joe Gomez left them with a crisis at the back and forced Klopp to buy two backup defenders in January in Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies.
They also lost six league games in a row at Anfield for the first time in their history, a run only broken on Saturday when they beat Aston Villa 2-1 thanks to Trent Alexander-Arnold’s fine stoppage time winner.
The Premier League champions are still just about alive in the Champions League, but will have to channel previous European comebacks tonight if they are to overturn the 3-1 deficit from their first-leg defeat to Madrid.
Mignolet, who is now at Club Brugge, thinks the Reds have a chance given their history in the competition.
‘It will be difficult, but with Liverpool in the Champions League, you never know,’ he said.
‘They have already saved themselves from more difficult situations. Like after the 3-0 defeat in Barcelona or in the final against Milan. You’re never done with Liverpool.’