Liverpool legend Sami Hyypia has praised Virgil van Dijk for his leadership qualities at the club.
The Dutch international has become an integral player for the Reds since joining them from Southampton last January. So far he has made 84 appearances for Liverpool, scoring eight goals and providing five assists.
Widely regarded to be the best defender in the world, van Dijk is also well-known for his leadership and Hyypia feels that his addition to the squad helps take the burden of the likes of Jordan Henderson and James Milner.
As quoted by the Mirror, the Liverpool legend said: “He’s not got the armband, but he has all the attributes of a leader. You don’t need the armband to be a leader or an important character on the field or in the dressing room. We needed a leader and, when Virgil arrived, he filled that void. In my opinion, Jordan Henderson and James Milner are a good captain and vice-captain, but it’s not enough to just have two – you need maybe four or five.
“Virgil was a good addition to that and he took the weight off the other two captains. He gives a lot of confidence to everyone, is always talking on the field and makes everyone around him play better. For me, he’s the last piece of the puzzle in the search for the first Premier League title. Attacking-wise, we were going in the right direction, but, in defence, we needed him to close the circle.”
Van Dijk’s addition to Liverpool’s squad has been very useful from a defensive and leadership standpoint. The Dutchman is often an attacker’s nightmare but he’s also the kind of leader a team often needs. Van Dijk is a key reason why the Netherlands national team is back in a strong position now. He led the Oranje to the Nations League Final and will be hoping to help the team put in a good showing at Euro 2020.