It’s getting pretty silly now. It was already crystal clear that Virgil van Dijk was amongst the world’s best centre-backs, perhaps even the best, but the Reds’ No.4 is exceeding expectations and setting the bar at a level that almost no one else can reach.
As we all know, the Dutch man mountain is a monster in the air and in the tackle – not one player has dribbled past him this season in either the Premier League or the Champions League – but he is also a step above in terms of technical ability.
Liverpool have kept more clean sheets in the Premier League since his debut for the club than any other.
In 41 games across the Champions League and the Premier League not a single player has dribbled past Virgil van Dijk this season.
Best in the world. pic.twitter.com/4A8yVJjzZz
— FourFourTweet (@FourFourTweet) March 14, 2019
As well as winning 100 per cent of his aerial duels and 100 per cent of his tackles, Van Dijk also managed to grab a goal and an assist. His first attacking involvement came with a precise long-range pass to the feet of Sadio Mane, which the No.10 controlled superbly before chipping the ball into the far corner.
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An own goal from Joel Matip levelled the scores, but the former Southampton man stepped up again to put the tie beyond doubt with a thumping header into Manuel Neuer’s bottom corner.
It seems as if there is nothing that the 27-year-old can’t do at the moment – he is simply faultless, and peerless, in his position amongst every player in Europe right now.
Even Robert Lewandowski, a man with 29 goals to his name this season, wasn’t afforded a sniff at Alisson Becker’s goal on his own turf inside the Allianz Arena, which is testament to Van Dijk and his defensive abilities. Joel Matip is deserving of some credit too, of course.
Many eyebrows were raised when Liverpool smashed their transfer record, and the world-record fee for a defender, to bring the imperious defender to Anfield.
However, the Reds could probably demand double that sum for his services right now and not be laughed out of the room – he is that good, and could get even better at just 27 years of age.