Danny Mills insisted it is “absolutely vital” that Liverpool secure Virgil van Dijk’s long-term future as the club prepare to offer the defender a lucrative new deal.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Leeds United and Manchester City right-back claimed “defenders win championships” and described the 28-year-old as the Reds’ “rock”.
Virgil van Dijk still has three years left on his current deal having put pen to paper on a five-and-a-half-year agreement when he signed from Southampton in 2018.
The Netherlands captain currently earns a basic salary of £125,000 which is supplemented by a variation of bonuses.
When asked by Football Insider if tying the defender down to a long-term contract was the top priority on Merseyside, Mills said: “It is absolutely vital.
“To have him there for that length of time means Liverpool do not have to worry about their defence – they would have him there for the next four or five seasons.
“He is their rock and they can build everything around that. They have a great keeper, a great centre-half and two good young full-backs.
“Strikers win games but defenders win championships and Liverpool are going down the right route in securing his long-term future.”
Van Dijk has been a virtual ever-present for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season and has made 41 appearances in all competitions.
The centre-half has won the Champions League and UEFA Best Player in Europe award since arriving at Anfield, while he also came runner-up to Lionel Messi in the Ballon d’Or.