A former Red has heaped praise upon the Dutchman ahead of his old club’s meeting with Manchester United in the Premier League this weekend
Virgil van Dijk is the “perfect defender” and a “bonafide star”, according to Danny Murphy, who cannot see any flaws in the Liverpool defender’s game.
Van Dijk joined the Reds for a record fee of £75 million ($98m) from Southampton in January 2018, and has since established himself as arguably the most important player in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI.
The Netherlands international helped Liverpool win a unique treble in 2019, with success in the European Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup backed up by significant progress in the Premier League.
The Merseyside outfit missed out on the title by just a single point last season, but they are on course to end a 30-year wait for domestic glory come May having opened up a 13 point lead at the top of the table.
Liverpool have two games in hand on reigning champions Manchester City, and boast the meanest defensive record in the top flight with only 14 goals conceded in 21 fixtures.
Van Dijk – who finished second in December’s Ballon d’Or voting behind eventual winner Lionel Messi – has led by example at the back once again, with Murphy describing the 28-year-old as the best defender in the business.
“He’s the best centre-half I’ve ever seen,” the ex-Liverpool midfielder wrote in his latest column for the Daily Mail.
“Calm, assured and someone the whole group looks up to.
“If you wanted a computer program to create the perfect defender, it would come up with Van Dijk.
“Nobody can outrun or outfight him and, though he’s a bona fide star, there is nothing flash or celebrity about him.”
Van Dijk will likely retain a place in Klopp’s line up when Manchester United arrive at Anfield on Sunday.
Liverpool can extend their unbeaten run to 39 Premier League matches if they beat the Red Devils, who are the only side to have taken any points from them this term.
United held the Reds to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford back in October, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have since slipped 27 points behind their arch-rivals in the standings.
Liverpool have won their last 12 matches in the top flight, and will be looking to capitalise on second-placed City’s 2-2 draw at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.