Troy Deeney believes Liverpool currently boast possession of the most accomplished defender in the Premier League at the moment.
The Watford striker has heaped praise on Virgil van Dijk for his superb start to life at Anfield following his £75million January arrival.
Van Dijk has been instrumental in inspiring the defensive improvement that has seen the Reds strengthen their grip on a top four spot and reach the Champions League semi-finals.
The Dutchman was particularly superb across Liverpool’s two quarter-final legs against Manchester City, helping frustrate one of Europe’s most fearsome attacking forces.
“He’s the best by far,” he said on Graham Hunter’s ‘The Big Interview’ podcast, per the Echo.
“Six foot six inches tall, quick, confident with the ball at his feet, and doesn’t mind a physical battle. He’s the closest thing we’ve got to a complete defender in the Premier League.”
The 26-year-old has had a notable impact in leading the Reds to nine clean sheets in their last 14 games, propelling the club to a place among the league’s best defensive records.
His influence has also been reflected by Dejan Lovren’s inspired response, with the Croatian putting October’s Wembley nightmare behind him to unearth a fresh blend of vigour, assurance and self-belief.
Both have combined to pose as a stern partnership amid an untimely injury crisis in recent weeks and will be pivotal in Liverpool’s search for a valuable clean sheet in Tuesday’s first leg at home to Roma.
£75million is looking money well spent.