Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk has delivered a glowing verdict on Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min during an interview with Premier League Productions (via Liverpoolfc.com).
Van Dijk has established himself as one of the most revered players in Premier League football since he swapped Southampton for Liverpool in 2018, and words of praise don’t come much more esteemed than they do from him.
The 6ft 4 colossus was recently asked to name his dream Premier League 5-a-side team, though he was not permitted to name any of his current Reds teammates.
His team predominantly consisted of Manchester City players as Ederson, Aymeric Laporte and Kevin De Bruyne all got the nod, but Spurs star Son was also named while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took the final spot at centre-forward.
And the former Celtic lynchpin, who is valued at £90m by Transfermarkt, delivered a glowing verdict on the South Korea international as he explained the reason behind his choice.
“He’s quick, he’s strong, he goes out there to make life hell on the pitch for a defender. And his finishing – right foot, left foot – is just outstanding so I think I would pick him.”
As van Dijk alludes to, the prospect of facing Son is a hellish one for even the most competent and experienced of defenders.
Capable of playing on both feet, ducking inside or steamrolling down the outside, the 27-year-old is unplayable when he’s at his exhilarating best, and in a 5-a-side environment he’d be extremely difficult to stop.
That Son has scored 12 Premier League goals with his right foot and eight with his left since the beginning of the 2018/19 season attests to his ability to be deadly on either side – an outstanding quality from van Dijk’s perspective.
While Son, a key talisman at Spurs, will be accustomed to receiving praise from his peers and the media, the fact his most recent endorsement comes from a man who finished second in the most recent Ballon d’Or standings speaks volumes about how highly he is regarded in the footballing world.