Date: 25th April 2019 at 11:00am
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EXCLUSIVE

Virgil van Dijk is the best centre-back in the world and has proved to be the “missing piece of the jigsaw” for Liverpool, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds United and Coventry City striker explained why he would “hate to have played” against the Holland international.

Van Dijk joined Liverpool from Southampton in January of last year for a club-record £70million rising to a potential £75million and has made a huge impact at Anfield.

“Van Dijk has been the missing piece of the jigsaw for Liverpool,” Whelan said. “They had been crying out for a leader at the back and they have got a completely dominant centre-half who must be the best in the world at the moment.

“He is quick, strong, fantastic in the air, good on the ball and is dominant in both penalty boxes. What a player. I would hate to have played against him.”

Van Dijk has also won the admiration of his fellow professionals and has beaten Raheem Sterling to the PFA player of the year award, which is set to be announced today.

Whelan is a huge admirer of the Dutchman, but placed him in second, behind the Manchester City forward and ahead of his Anfield teammate Sadio Mane.

Whelan’s Premier League player of the season:

  1. Raheem Sterling (Man City)
  2. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
  3. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

In other Liverpool news, RB Leipzig move in on signing red-hot Anfield ace who has just rejected a new five-year contract.