Thierry Henry believes Virgil van Dijk is as commanding a defender as Tony Adams and Sol Campbell were for Arsenal.

The comparison was made following Liverpool’s 4-1 defeat to Tottenham on Sunday. The Reds found themselves 2-0 down inside 12 minutes after some calamitous defending from their centre backs, particularly Dejan Lovren.

The Croatian international was subbed off after just 32 minutes. Speaking after the game, Henry believes Liverpool need a more commanding presence at the back, and identified Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk.

“I played with two like that [Van Dijk] in this country: Tony Adams and Sol Campbell,” Henry told Sky Sports, reports the Metro. “They were guys who were commanding. They demand so much of others that they were alert, they were going to defend those balls for you.

“In an ideal world, is it going to change everything? No. But he will definitely make it better and have an impact on that defence.”

Van Dijk has been heavily linked with Liverpool, but has also been linked with every other top club, including Arsenal. The Gunners’ own defending has come under criticism this season, with some pundits suggests that we also lack a commanding presence.

It wouldn’t be at all surprising if Arsenal’s next defensively poor performance was greeted with similar claims. Van Dijk has only just recently returned to the Southampton starting line-up after a difficult summer.

The Dutch defender wanted to leave the club and went as far as a formal transfer request, but was denied a move. Southampton excluded him from first-team training throughout the summer, and have only recently began re-integrating him.

Speculation about his future will surely start up again when the transfer window re-opens in January.

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News and feature writer with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of East London. Long-time Arsenal fan also following Sevilla and local side Southend United. You can find me on Twitter @jeinchy29 talking about Arsenal and the issues affecting the English game,