The Dutchman was recently appointed Reds skipper following Jordan Henderson’s move to Saudi Arabia

Virgil van Dijk hopes introducing a Celtic-inspired huddle at Liverpool will help ‘set the tone’ for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Netherlands stopper Van Dijk was recently appointed Anfield skipper after taking over the armband from long-serving Jordan Henderson, who linked up with Steven Gerrard by making a controversial move to Saudi Arabia. The 32-year-old has put his own stamp on the role too by bringing back the huddle to Anfield, a pre-match routine that was previously used under Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez.

And just like his days at Parkhead, Van Dijk hopes the show of togetherness will fire up the Liverpool support and help create a formidable atmosphere.

He said: “It was something that we did when I was a Celtic player and I always liked it because I thought it set the tone for the game and it also gave the crowd a signal that we were ready to go.

“It can also help the atmosphere with it being so close to the match starting, so if our fans want to join in by building up the noise and adding to the sense of anticipation I certainly won’t complain, even if it makes it difficult for me to make myself heard.”

Van Dijk – who spent two years at Celtic before joining Southampton for a bargain £13.5million in 2015 – admits he’s relishing his role as club captain at one of the world’s most iconic clubs.

He added: “This club has had some incredible captains over the years, leaders who would bring the best out of themselves and their team time and time again. So to be on the list with people like that is definitely not the kind of thing that I would have expected when I started playing.

“But the most important thing for me is that I am part of a team of leaders, individually, who find their own way to take responsibility no matter who is wearing the armband.”


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