Lid lifted on Virgil van Dijk's secret to 'boss' physique as Ibrahima Konate snubbed

Virgil van Dijk captain of Liverpool and Ibrahima Konate of Liverpool with the Carabao Cup in the dressing room after the Carabao Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on February 25, 2024 in London, England.
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool's new manager Arne Slot will inherit plenty of questions, none more so than in the defense. He'll no doubt be watching both Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate closely at Euro 2024.

In the case of Van Dijk, the Liverpool captain is entering the final year of his deal. Slot won't get the final say, but in collaboration with Michael Edwards, sporting director Richard Hughes and others, he will need to decide whether the soon-to-be-33-year-old warrants a new deal.

Meanwhile, Konate is in a battle to be Van Dijk's first-choice partner at club level. That's been made more complicated by the rise of Jarell Quansah.

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If Slot was hoping France might help him make his first big decision, he was left disappointed. Here's your latest Liverpool news as the Euros continue.

Ibrahima Konate snubbed

In the lead-up to Euro 2024, all of the talk out of France suggested that Liverpool defender Konate was set to get the nod in Didier Deschamps' back line. He started the first warm-up game against Luxembourg, and was still expected to be preferred even after William Saliba played ahead of him against Canada.

But it was the Arsenal man who started the Euros opener against Austria, alongside Dayot Upemecano of Bayern Munich. Konate had to be content with watching from the bench, a position he found himself in a lot for Liverpool towards the end of last season.

Ibrahima Konate was an unused substitute for France in the 1-0 win over Austria
Ibrahima Konate was an unused substitute for France in the 1-0 win over Austria -Credit:ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images

Konate could yet play an important role for France; he was not a starter at the World Cup, but ended up playing a huge role from the outset in the semi-final success against Morocco, before being summoned from the bench in the final versus Argentina. But he will need to battle for his place, something he will also need to do upon his return to Liverpool under new boss Slot.

Virgil van Dijk's 'secret' revealed

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Brian Brobbey has revealed the 'secret' to Van Dijk's imposing physique. The Ajax striker has shared some insights from the Netherlands camp.

"When it comes to the biggest eater in our squad, I go straight for Virgil," he said. “If you see how he piles the food on the plate!

"He starts with an absolute mountain of salad. I also scoop my plate well full, because we train hard and need nutrients.

"Then again, have you seen what Virgil looks like? You don’t get tall and strong overnight. Virgil is a boss.”

Whatever Van Dijk is eating, it seems to be working. He captained the Netherlands to a 2-1 win over Poland to kick off his Euros campaign, with Liverpool teammate Cody Gakpo among the goals.