Arsenal legend Martin Keown hailed Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk, calling him the best defender in Premier League history.
Arguably the best defender in the world at this moment, the Dutchman has been in magtnificent form for the Reds since joining them from Southampton two years back. Last season was terrific for van Dijk as he won the Champions League and several individual accolades that included the PFA Player of the Year, the Premier League Player of the Season and the UEFA Best Player in Europe. He also finished second in the Ballon d’Or behind Lionel Messi.
This season, van Dijk has maintained his good form and has been solid at the back for Liverpool which is a key reason why they have the best defence in the Premier League, having conceded only 14 goals so far.
Keown said that the 28-year-old is the best defender in Premier League history. Speaking to talkSPORT, the Arsenal legend said: “I think he has to be. It’s almost perfection to watch him play. He was up in Scotland and nobody really wanted him. He went to Southampton but anyone could have taken it. He seemed to be a player who was perhaps slow to mature, but now he’s there and he wants to win things, and he’s very much behind all of that [for Liverpool].
“Man City jumped out of that, they didn’t want to pay the big money to sign him but, what was it, £75million? That now looks fantastic value. It’s the right time and the right moment for him. I think with Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez, Liverpool have got the best four central defenders [in the Premier League]. And if you’re the person playing alongside Van Dijk, he just gives you so much reassurance.”
Van Dijk is probably the best defender right now but as far as all-time is concerned, he may have to maintain his performances for another four-five years to be at the top of a list that should comprise of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Sol Campbell, Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia, just to name a few.
After impressing yesterday against Tottenham, the Dutch international will be eager to produce another strong performance next weekend when Liverpool take on Manchester United at Anfield.