Paul Gorst – 9
A player who has redefined what it means to be considered the best defender, Virgil van Dijk is the epitome of world class.
Its incredibly high standards set the tone for this Liverpool the defense and its ultra-consistent performances have contributed to elevate the game of his colleagues central defenders this season.
Once again the backbone behind the Premier League’s best defensive record, the Dutch giant was again a central defender. The fact that he was only bitten by Lionel Messi in the issues of the Ballon d’Or in December shows you the impact he had at Anfield.
One day of rest – at Watford in February – Van Dijk was compelling. A rock solid foundation for which Liverpool have built all their good work over the past two years.
Will descend alongside the best defenders in the history of the club when he recalls his stay in Merseyside.
Ian Doyle – 9
That says a lot about the impressive Virgil van Dijk in Liverpool when Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe briefly overtook him during the first weeks of the season, supporters of rival Premier League clubs were delighted by the presence of ‘a flaw in his armor.
Van Dijk remains a key part of Liverpool’s defense efforts, having not missed a minute in the Premier League and the Champions League so far this season.
Was it at the level of last year? No, but no defender could have surely maintained this level for such a long period.
But all the blips – as in the defeat at Watford – were far outweighed by his overall contribution, having been partnered again by Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and, for the most part, Joe Gomez in the center back.
He even scored the strange goal, including the first game against Manchester United at Anfield in January.
Best defender in Liverpool, best defender in the world. Van Dijk remains one of the first names on the team sheet.
Connor Dunn – 9
It is difficult to continue to find superlatives to describe the always imperious Virgil van Dijk.
In his first full season at Anfield, the Dutchman was nothing short of masterful at the heart of the defense and although his performance may not have quite reached the incredibly consistent levels he posted in the quarter last – he’s still the key man for Liverpool’s bottom line and the best defender in world football, so it’s difficult to make any criticism.
Its transformative effect on those around it has shown no sign of slowing down and this cannot be underestimated.