Jamie Redknapp has raved about the importance of colossal defender Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool, who has turned out to be more than worth the £75million (BBC) they splashed on him in January 2018 from Southampton.
The 28-year-old has completely remoulded the defence to make them a formidable backline and has won a Champions League medal, plus is on the brink with the Reds of a first Premier League title.
He’s a powerful centre-back that is almost impossible to get past one-on-one and he’s set the standards since he joined at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have kept their eye-catching attacking flair to blow teams away, but now have the defence too to back it up and help them compete against anyone.
Redknapp has made the big claim that the Holland internatonal is the best defender of the Premier League era.
“Just a phenomenal player. He’s the best. Sometimes one player can make that difference,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.
“If you took him out of this team this would be a really tight season. He just gives them that edge because before him they were conceding so many goals, he’s just unbelievable. He’s the best [defender] I’ve seen in the Premier League era.”
Van Dijk’s meteoric rise in the past couple of years means he deserves to be mentioned alongside some of the Premier League’s best centre-backs, as his impact on Merseyside has been massive and a Premier League medal is inevitable.
But Chelsea’s John Terry is surely still the benchmark for others to reach, as the former Blues captain was the cornerstone of their defence at Stamford Bridge for nearly two decades.
He won 17 major trophies during his Chelsea career and the English centre-back is recognised by all as a Premier League legend.