There are a lot of things Virgil van Dijk can be commended for. His impact on the Liverpool backline and the team in general, his clean sheet record at the club, as well as his ability to elevate the performances of those around him.
However, one key battle on Friday night against Wolves had fans worrying whether or not he could deal with the searing pace of Adama Traore, who is definitely one of the quickest players in world football.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side were quite clearly trying to get the Spaniard one on one with van Dijk in a footrace for most of the night, but the former Barcelona man just could not get past.
One incident highlighted just how many strings the Dutch international has to his bow. Traore knocked the ball past the £75m and set off in pursuit of it, looking likely to leave van Dijk in his wake. However, the former Celtic man immediately caught him up, knocked him off the ball and onto the floor, winning possession back with ease.
Naturally, Liverpool fans loved the moment…
Yeah, Virgil van Dijk outpacing and comfortably dealing with Adama Traore whilst wearing a dressing gown and slippers whilst sipping a Lemsip is a mood
— pantera côr-de-rosa (@rorysalad) December 21, 2018
There was a moment in the second half when Adama Traore tried to race past Virgil van Dijk. Suddenly, van Dijk had taken the ball. Traore’s night was over. Wolves were beaten. Van Dijk then scored. I’ve never seen a defender like him represent Liverpool. https://t.co/qVCGhfpNYC
— Simon Hughes (@Simon_Hughes__) December 21, 2018
Traoré is probably the quickest player in the league and Van Dijk handled him with ease … Probably the first time I've actually seen Virgil properly sprint
— LFC92 (@LFC92) December 21, 2018
Favourite moment from that game: Traore putting on the afterburners only to see Van Dijk effortlessly run past him.
— Paul Grech (@paul_grech) December 21, 2018
Has anyone ever outpaced Adama Traore???? Van Dijk made it look easy
— John O Sullivan (@Corballyred) December 21, 2018
Van Dijk beats Adama Traore in a foot race. He truly is the best cb in the world.
— Jaime (@JMoose7) December 22, 2018
Van dijk beating Traoré for pace and finishing on his weak foot for the goal, the man is just on another level #WOLLIV
— Daragh Griffin (@DARS_G) December 21, 2018