Liverpool have had problems defensively for some time, and it always seemed to be their achilles heel.
Everyone would constantly wax lyrical about the team’s flair going forward, but at the back, Jurgen Klopp’s team were prone to leaking goals.
The back line improved dramatically in January, though, when Virgil van Dijk finally got his desired move from Southampton to Anfield.
The Dutchman settled in quickly, and managed to breed confidence across the back, even improving those around him.
While Mohamed Sala, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will get the plaudits for their heroics up front, Van Dijk has been one of Liverpool’s most important players this season.
In fact, Opta has revealed that the former Celtic enforcer ended the 2017-18 campaign with the highest percentage of duels won in the Premier League.
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) May 14, 2018
Thanks to Van Dijk’s defensive qualities, Liverpool secured fourth place in the division and are one win away from being crowned Champions League winners.
The centre-back’s impressive stats caught the eye of supporters on social media.