Jamie Carragher spots new trait in Liverpool squad in boost to Prem title hopes

Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool stars have shown they can be leaders in the absence of Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk was injured in the Merseyside derby last month and is expected to miss most of the rest of the season.

It led to worries from Reds fans that their Premier League winning side could struggle with Van Dijk having proved his worth in defence.

The Dutchman’s leadership skills had been praised though Liverpool have remained strong in Van Dijk’s absence.

Their 3-0 win over Leicester at the weekend ensured they remained level on points with Tottenham at the top of the Prem.

And Carragher believes it’s a good sign for the Reds given some of their previous defensive issues this season.

Carragher told Sky Sports: “When you have that huge figure you look to in a certain position, and he's out, it's up to others to step in.

“Sometimes it is not just one player, it can be three or four at one time. What we are seeing now is that there is maybe a lot more leadership from other people.

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“When we talk about Van Dijk, let's not forget he's been part of a back four for the last couple of years that have had the best defensive record in the league, and I'm sure that would've been the case this season with him.

“But there was no doubt Liverpool had huge problems at the start of the season. They conceded three at home against Leeds and then there was obviously the game against Aston Villa.

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“We have spoken a lot about Liverpool's line and it's difficult at times to criticise a team that have a great defensive record and have been so successful.

“There were times when I'd look at the line and think 'run back'. Certainly, in the Aston Villa game, where obviously Liverpool got it massively wrong.

“At times it was not so much about how high the line was, it was just the fact that I always felt that Liverpool's defenders needed to be in a position to actually run back.”

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