Liverpool and Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk gave us an early look at an upcoming next-generation boot this week as he returned to Melwood to train in a mystery blackout silo ahead of his side's trip to Watford on Saturday.

Van Dijk has been wearing the Nike Tiempo all season, even following every colour update from the Swoosh and is in the "Always Forward" drop for competitive games. This week however, he slipped into an unidentified blackout silhouette that doesn't in the slightest resemble the Tiempo, so what is it?


It's a boot that has one of the busiest uppers in terms of design with an incredibly distinctive pattern that stretches right across. As we've mentioned VDV is contracted to Nike, he's one of their leading Tiempo players, and although a Tiempo update can't be far away (the current series has been knocking around since June 2017) we can safely assume that this boot here is not that. Leaving us to assume that the Dutchman is testing an early prototype for a different brand, a brand who are trying to lure him away from the Swoosh by giving him a taste of their next project.


So again, what is it? There are a couple of features here that make us point towards a next-generation of the PUMA Future. Firstly, there's the prominent holes on the instep to allow players versatility on how they lace up – an update on the NetFit technology perhaps? And secondly, there's the little pull tag on the top of the collar which matches that of the first and second generation Future boots. Assuming that we're correct then it's a dramatic update for the silo, and VDV would be one headline signing if they can get him through their doors.

Fellow LFC centre-back and undisputed greatest footballer on the planet Dejan Lovren has recently just signed with the brand too, so perhaps VDV has had his head turned there.


Stay tuned for more on Virgil van Dijk's mystery blackout boots...