Why Virgil van Dijk is more important than Mohamed Salah to Liverpool summer rebuild

The contracts of both players will expire next summer.
Liverpool FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
Liverpool FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Liverpool supporters have just been given a massive and well-needed boost after a disappointing few weeks.

Having witnessed their club drop out of the Premier League title race and exit Europe in a miserable manner, the Anfield faithful have finally been given some good news.

And it involves star defender Virgil van Dijk, with the Liverpool captain confirming that he wants to be part of the summer rebuild on Merseyside.

With Jurgen Klopp on his way out, there are fears that the German will be followed by several senior stars.

But skipper van Dijk will not be one of them, with his latest admission coming at a time of major uncertainty involving teammate Mohamed Salah.

Will Salah leave Liverpool this summer?

Liverpool in general have been in poor form by their standards in recent times, but a lot of the criticism has gone the way of their Egyptian winger.

He did, however, come alive in the 4-2 win against Tottenham, bringing an end to his disappointing run of form.

Still, it remains uncertain what the near future holds for the attacker, who has been linked with a switch to Saudi Arabia this summer.

Reds fans will fear the worst regarding Salah in the upcoming transfer window, but perhaps many will be of the opinion that keeping van Dijk is much more important.

Reds cannot afford Van Dijk exit

Countless opposing fans laughed at Liverpool’s decision to splash a world-record £75million fee for a defender when they snapped up van Dijk from Southampton in January 2018.

But he has proven himself to be worth every penny - and then some - since arriving, with all of Klopp’s major trophies at the club coming after van Dijk’s signature.

The Netherlands ace has barely put a foot wrong in red, with his calmness and composure on and off the ball also massively improving those around him.

He is also the leader on the pitch, and more importantly is the only world-class option that Liverpool have in central defense.

Conversely, in attack, the presence of Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez means a Salah exit would certainly not be felt as much.

There is, of course, a huge fee awaiting the Reds should they decide that now is the right time to sell their Egyptian star, with that money then available to be spent on a replacement.

The contracts of both Salah and van Dijk will expire in June 2025, and while Liverpool should be doing their utmost to keep both until at least next summer, it is the immediate future of the centre-back that should take priority.