BBC pundit Alan Shearer has ranked Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk in fourth place on his list of the best defenders in Premier League history.
The former England captain praised the Dutchman as the difference-maker who helped turn the Reds into Premier League champions last year:
“He’s a game-changer for Liverpool – he took them to where they wanted to go. Liverpool have missed him and his leadership this season because of his injury”
Arsenal legend Tony Adams led the way in Shearer’s list. Chelsea’s John Terry was in second, with former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand in third, while Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany rounded out the top five.
Van Dijk’s recovery from an ACL has been unsurprisingly slow. He has been back running and doing gym work for a number of weeks but he isn’t expected to play again this campaign.
Every Liverpool supporter will be hoping that he returns next season as the same player he was before his injury. As Shearer points out, the Netherlands international is crucial to how the Reds play and he has been badly missed.