Tammy Abraham is fast becoming one of the most feared strikers in the Premier League, but even predators like him have opponents they don’t relish coming up against.
Abraham’s top level experience is still pretty limited, and he will come up against some tough customers this year in both the league and the Champions League – but not many, if any, will be as dominant as Virgil Van Dijk.
The Liverpool defender is super strong, super fast and super dominant in the air. He reads the game well and great technique. He’s an all round superb defender, and Tammy has already faced up with him twice, once in the Super Cup and once in the league. The new England striker admitted in quotes carried by the Daily Mail that the Dutchman is his toughest opponent so far:
“He’s a beast. He’s just good at what he does. He’s experienced. I try to do a little… I try to use my tricks in my head but his understanding of the game is top drawer. It’s to do with little things. Movement. My movement in the box, some defenders don’t pay attention to me — they are only focused on the ball. With him, it’s kind of both, he’s paying attention to me and the ball, knows where I am, knows where I want to go, follows me.”
Tammy actually put up a good battle both times against the Liverpool stalwart, and will hope to do even better next time, as he gains experience and nous. Tammy’s own physique continues to improve, so hopefully he can level that playing field too.
One only improves by taking on the very best, and Tammy will hopefully have many opportunities to hone his skills over the years against VVD.