Virgil van Dijk has responded to Jamie Carragher's comments that he needs to 'lose a bit of weight' by joking the former Reds defender can come visit him in the dressing room.
Van Dijk’s fitness has been the subject of debate since his arrival, with now Sky pundit Jamie Carragher saying he has been hampered by not having a pre-season with Saints.
“I think it will prove to be a great signing, but he hasn’t hit the ground running,” Carragher said following the defeat to West Brom. “I think he needs to get fit and lose a bit of weight.”
The former Southampton defender laughed off that he needed to lose weight, however acknowledged that he needs time to adapt. The Dutchman missed the second half of last season due to an ankle injury.
Van Dijk said: “He (Carragher) needs to come into the dressing room and he can see if I need to lose some weight because I don’t think I need to lose some weight!
“I have been out for eight months - last January until September really and I didn’t play at Premier League level.
“It is not easy to come back, especially when I have made such a big step as now with all the eyes on me and they look at every small detail.
“I am just focusing on the team and myself. Other people will talk and have their opinions. There is nothing I can do about that. I will just try and enjoy my game and enjoy being here and that is what I am definitely doing.
“It is a strength of mine to not really bother too much when people have their opinions, especially negative opinions.
“I know when I am doing it well and exactly when I am doing it wrong. That is what I am working on and obviously no-one will talk about my performance (against Spurs) in general.
“We defended very well, had two penalties against us with a lot of question marks around them. I know that as a team and the players around me we did very well against one of the best strikers in Europe.”
Van Dijk was keen to mention that he’s loving life at Anfield and has praised Jurgen Klopp and his fellow teammates for helping him settle in following the £75-million move.
“I am enjoying every day and every bit of it, training and playing with these guys and working with the manager,” he said.
“I am enjoying every bit of what the fans are doing for me - always supporting me.
“My family loves it as well and that’s very important. Obviously, there are so many eyes on me but I am just keeping my head down and playing.
“Everybody can say what they want but I am working hard every day and I am getting back to where I need to be with the help of everyone here. I am just doing my thing.”
Van Dijk also insists he doesn't feel the pressure of that hefty £75million price tag but admits he has taken some time getting used to a new system.
“I can’t do anything about the fee so it is pretty easy for me. I am pretty calm on that,” he said.
“You are always going to have that but the most important thing is what happens at Melwood and what happens here with the people who care about the team.
“Other people around – fans of other clubs, pundits – they can have their opinions, but it doesn’t really bother me.
“With the football we play, the pressing, the different options with players, it is totally different here. So you need time to get used to everything but I am working on it every day together with the team.
“I am talking with the manager and everyone who can help me out. I want to improve and get the maximum out of myself and that is what I am going to do.
“You are always going to be judged but it is not like it is something really strange at the moment.
“I know because I made such a big step right now, for a lot of money, everything is going to analysed.
“No-one is going to look at the good things that you do. Everybody is going to watch the bad things and that’s how it is.
“But I will discuss it with the people who want to make me better, who can make me better, that is the manager and the players around me. If they think it is right then that is the way forward.”