Liverpool center-back Virgil Van Dijk insists he knows what to expect from Danny Ings when Southampton arrives at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.
The Dutchman, Van Dijk is happy to see a former colleague thriving at St Mary’s. However, he will be ready to limit his influence on the pitch this weekend.
Van Dijk spent three years with the Saints before joining Reds for a £75m fee in January 2108. The Dutchman played alongside Ings during his first six months at Anfield before he sealed a season-long loan switch to St Mary’s.
Southampton signed Ings permanently for £120m last summer. Ever since he has rediscovered the form which earned him a move to Liverpool from Burnley back in 2015.
The 27-year-old has hit 14 goals in 24 Premier League outings this season emerging as a genuine contender for the Golden Boot.
Ings will be looking to add to his tally when he returns to Anfield this weekend. But, Van Dijk is confident he can keep his old team-mate quiet as Liverpool look to extend their recent league winning run to 16 matches.
“He has been a key man for Southampton and helped it around,” added the Netherlands international.
“I’m very happy for him and very happy for the club. I hope they kick on. But Saturday we try to get a result. At this stage, you don’t need to study strikers anymore.”
“Normally you know their strength and weaknesses. You try to prepare as good as possible but most of the time, it’s to make sure you’re 100 percent ready.”
“The strikers we are facing at the moment we have played against many times.”
Van Dijk has helped Liverpool win three major trophies since his arrival on Merseyside with the Champions League and Club World Cup included.
Klopp’s men are also on course to win a first Premier League crown come May. The reds have established a 19-point lead over reigning champions Manchester City at the top of the table.
Reflecting on his decision to swap St Mary’s for Anfield two years ago, Van Dijk added, “The decision I made has not been too bad.”
“I’m 28 now and I want to fulfill every dream I ever had. Life can be short. Your career can be short as well.”
“I want to enjoy every minute of it. I’m enjoying playing with this team and this manager. We can’t look too far ahead. But right now, I’m enjoying it.”
“I don’t look at the table. You only need to look at the table at the end of the season.”