Virgil van Dijk is arguably the best central defender on the planet right now.
But aged 27, he has only 21 caps for his country and less than a year ago, was still playing for Southampton.
According to former Groningen coach Pieter Huistra, who managed van Dijk between 2010 and 2012, the central defender was misjudged because he didn’t come through one of the famous Dutch Academies.
“In Holland, when you’re not in the academy of Ajax or PSV or Feyenoord, scouts tend to be sceptical,” Pieter Huistra told Bleacher Report.
“Why is he in the academy of Willem II? There’s probably something wrong.’ And it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“You can compare Virgil to Jaap Stam in a certain way. Like Virgil, he made his way to the top slowly.
“Maybe it was even better that he had to fight to show everybody that he was good enough to play at the highest level. He proved them all wrong.”
Some would choose Sergio Ramos as the planet’s best, and others Diego Godin, but for us, van Dijk is irreplaceable.
This season, we’ve conceded just three Premier League goals so far, having let in 12 after eight games last term, when we didn’t have him marshalling our backline.
The introduction of Joe Gomez alongside van Dijk and Alisson between the sticks has also been incredibly helpful, but van Dijk is the star.
In fact, he’s been Liverpool’s best player this season.
If we’re going to win silverware this term, van Dijk will play an enormous role.