‘Stop living in the past’ – Pundit omits Van Dijk from his Spurs/Liverpool combined XI

Joe Williams
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk takes part in a pre-match warm-up.

Former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara has left out Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk from his Spurs/Liverpool combined XI.

Both Spurs and the Reds have made a good start to the new Premier League season with Liverpool currently occupying second place, two points ahead of fourth-placed Tottenham.

And both sides face each other on Saturday evening in one of their biggest tests of the season with Jurgen Klopp’s side looking to halt Ange Postecoglou’s promising start in north London.

Ahead of the fixture, O’Hara has attempted to put together a combined XI from Liverpool and Tottenham with Van Dijk one of the most notable omissions.

O’Hara told Grosvenor Sport: “I can’t disagree with Alisson in goal. Guglielmo Vicario’s been brilliant for Spurs and made some quality saves last weekend against Arsenal, but you can’t not have Alisson in there.

“Virgil van Dijk? No! People need to stop living in the past! I’ll go with Ibrahima Konate and Cristian Romero. Micky van de Ven also gets a mention – he’s been unbelievable since he came in, but he doesn’t get in and Van Dijk doesn’t start for me either.

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“Left-back I’m going with Destiny Udogie over Andy Robertson – 100%. Have you seen how good he is? He’s been unreal for Tottenham this season. Robertson has been a quality player in the past, but we’re not talking about three seasons ago anymore – we’re talking about right now! I think right-back is Tottenham’s weakest position, so I reckon Trent Alexander-Arnold is still good enough to get the nod there over Pedro Porro. He used to be one of the best in the world, though based on current form I wouldn’t say that.

“My first midfielder would have to be Yves Bissouma – he’s just been incredible this season. James Maddison is there as well, so it’s two Tottenham players in the middle three. The final player is Dominik Szoboszlai – I’ve been impressed with him since he joined Liverpool. I think that midfield would have quite a nice balance to it too.

“Up front I’m going with Mohamed Salah, Heung-min Son and Luis Diaz.”

Son Heung-min has been in brilliant form this season under Postecoglou with five goals in six Premier League matches and the South Korean is already half way to his goals total from last term.

On Son, O’Hara added: “You look at Heung-min Son – he was poor last season and didn’t really have anything to do with the side, he was out of form and couldn’t find his feet.

“This season though with James Maddison, he’s taken over the focal point in attack, and I think he’s been better since Harry Kane left – we all thought he’d struggle without him.

“He’s come into the side and we’re now saying that Spurs don’t even need a striker! He’s the perfect man for it – Maddison tees him up every week and he’s scoring goals for fun. It makes Spurs fans feel as if they don’t need Kane.

“I thought Spurs were excellent against Arsenal last weekend. It was a big game away from home and they had to come from behind in order to get a result. Spurs are always rubbish at the Emirates, but they put in a really good performance, and I think it’s a sign as to how good they can be this season.”