Chris Sutton has paid Virgil van Dijk perhaps the biggest compliment he’s received all season.
The BT Sport pundit and former Celtic striker has suggested the Dutchman is the world’s third best player behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, when asked in a column to state who’s next in line to the throne.
Eden Hazard, Luka Modric, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe all got mentioned by others, but Sutton was adamant about van Dijk!
“It may not be fashionable to mention a defender when you have a conversation like this, but when you look at the difference Virgil van Dijk has made to Liverpool then you can see just how good he is,” he told BBC Sport.
“There is not an attribute you need as a defender that he does not have – he is quick, strong, consistent and he does not seem to lose his concentration.
“He also has tremendous distribution when he is on the ball, and he reads the game so well. He has got the lot.
“There will be a clamour for Eden Hazard and other attacking players – and I understand that – but Van Dijk has shown the difference a brilliant defender can make to any side.”
For us, van Dijk is probably the best central defender on the planet right now and his importance to our side is completely undeniable.
Without him, we’d probably be mid-table in the Premier League this season – and that’s not an exaggeration.
In fairness, Sutton’s comments are probably a bit far until van Dijk has won major trophies.
If he leads Liverpool to the Premier League or the Champions League, then there’s no reason why van Dijk can’t be Ballon d’Or worthy!