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13th Sep 2022

Outspoken pundit Rafael van der Vaart takes aim at ‘mediocre’ Liverpool

Callum Boyle

‘I think we have become a bit blinded’

Rafael van der Vaart has taken a swipe at Liverpool in the build up to their Champions League fixture against Ajax on Tuesday and says that he doesn’t believe the hype around them.

Van der Vart said that Jürgen Klopp’s side were ‘mediocre’ and singled out several of the players in the Reds’ squad, calling them ‘normal players.’

“I think we have become a bit blinded. We suddenly think Jordan Henderson is a crazy player. That’s just a very normal player,” he told Dutch TV programme Rondo.

“James Milner is also a very normal player. Joe Gomez is also a very normal player. Virgil van Dijk is top, the right back and left back are also good.

“But if things don’t go well and those attackers don’t have their day, then I think it’s just a very mediocre team.”

The former Tottenham midfielder did reserve some praise for Liverpool’s attacking options and fears that they could unlock the Ajax defence.

He added: “The only thing I’m afraid of at Ajax is: if Luis Díaz and Mohamed Salah do have their day, then we have a problem. Then Ajax will never win. Certainly not at Anfield, I don’t think Daley Blind and Devyne Rensch are good enough for that.”

Both sides endured contrasting starts to their European campaign this season. Ajax kicked off their campaign with a thumping victory against Rangers whereas Liverpool fell to a heavy 4-1 loss against Napoli.

Anfield is expected to hold a minute’s silence in honour of Queen Elizabeth II before kick off and wear black armbands as a tribute.

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