If it wasn’t for him and John Terry, our own Jamie Carragher would have got a plethora of England caps. Terry is currently finishing his career with Aston Villa (for whom he played in front of the biggest home crowd of his career the other day!), Carra is superb on Sky and Rio does a fair job on BT Sport, often alongside Steven Gerrard.
But the most expensive defender in the world is Virgil van Dijk, who joined Liverpool from Southampton for a massive £75m in January.
He took maybe one or two games to find his feet, but has been instrumental in Liverpool keeping consecutive clean-sheets – putting in superb performances in the orange of the Netherlands away to Southampton and Porto.
“This is what I want to see more from him,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport, cited by the Star.
“That defensive nous that he’s got, this figure that he has to become, winning your headers.
“In this league you’ve got to be dominant and aggressive and push people around and be a leader.
“I think he’s got to fall into that category of being the leader of this team.
“This is what they’ve been lacking, he has to become that.
“£75m, he didn’t make the price tag but he’s got to go a way to justifying that.
“Not just through performances, but by being that man on the pitch.
“Vocal, bullying people around and running that changing room.”
Van Dijk is majestic centre-half. But it’s the manner in which he’s improved his team-mates which impresses us most. Dejan Lovren is a much better player alongside him and Loris Karius benefits from his instruction.
It’s such a relief to see him marshalling the backline after all this time!