Since the arrival of Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool’s defence has been transformed into one of the most resilient in Europe.
Prior to the Dutchman’s debut, the Reds’ back line was a leaky ship, and had been for some time.
During Liverpool’s last challenge for the Premier League in the 2013-14 season, Brendan Rodgers’ side shipped over 50 goals.
Although the attacking prowess of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, and Raheem Sterling carried them close to a first league win since 1990, it was not enough to overcome the sheer lack of quality at the back.
In Jurgen Klopp’s time at the club, he’s taken the Reds to two European cup finals, as well as one domestic cup final.
Again, despite the attacking quality of his sides – whether they have been spearheaded by Philippe Coutinho or Mohamed Salah – Klopp has seen his side suffer at the hands of his defence, and has failed to get his hands on silverware.
Van Dijk’s arrival spells a new period for Liverpool.
Coupled with the signing of Alisson Becker, Liverpool’s once leaky defence now look a solid unit. The leadership of Van Dijk has allowed youngsters Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez to settle comfortably, and to date the Reds have only conceded five Premier League goals so far this campaign.
The Holland captain offers Liverpool stability and leadership that has been missing since the retirement of Jamie Carragher, and he deserves to be recognised as one of the world’s best defenders.