Liverpool opinion: Virgil van Dijk is worth more than what Liverpool paid for him, and is only getting better
The Reds had to wait six months before getting the player and we even had to apologise to Southampton, the player and many other parties for our transgression.
Cue more than a year at Liverpool, and the 27-year-old looks like a defender worth twice that and even more.
The best centre-back we have in years
The Reds had one great pairing during the Premier League era. Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher were great as a duo, while we also had one decent pairing in Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel.
The latter pair never got to play several seasons together due to Agger’s injury concerns, but Carra and Hyypia were outstanding at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp didn’t splash money on another defender and waited for Van Dijk, and that has been a fantastic decision for the Reds.
This season has been about our title challenge, and it would have fallen apart a while back had Van Dijk not been playing for us.
The Dutch defender exudes class and quality, and the scary part is he will get better with more games under his belt.
There have been several instances where Van Dijk has proved how good he really is.
The pass to Sadio Mane for the opener against Bayern Munich and his goals in recent weeks were top notch, but Van Dijk feels like a real defender, like the ones from the old days.
Controlled and calm
Throughout this season, Van Dijk has been calmness personified on the pitch. If we are to pull out videos from any of the games, you will rarely find him flustered when facing any opposition.
Yes, there have been mistakes from the Dutchman such as the penalty against Manchester City or his role in the goal we conceded to Fulham. However, the 27-year-old hasn’t let them affect his form or our season.
Even against Spurs, he kept us in the game with his incredible decision making in a two-on-one situation. Moussa Sissoko ended up blasting the ball over the bar but Van Dijk ensured Son Heung-min was not getting the ball.
Every single defensive player around Van Dijk has looked great this season. Joe Gomez was brilliant until he suffered an unfortunate injury and Joel Matip has looked great too, despite losing his place to Gomez and then Dejan Lovren since last season.
The Dutch defender hasn’t even completed two complete seasons here but he seems to be one of the best signings we have made in the Premier League era.
It is going to be tough to find another defender like Virgil van Dijk, and thankfully he is a Red.
This is what he had to say when he signed for us in 2018 (h/t Guardian):
“I think the most important thing is the size of the club, the culture of the club, the players, the manager and obviously the fans, who make the club this special.”
“With the history at the club and everything around it – even the training ground and stuff – it is just a perfect, perfect match for me, and for my family as well.”
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The truth of the matter is, Van Dijk is special, and we are lucky to have him.