Fair play to Gary Neville, who despite being a Manchester United legend and a former sworn enemy of the Kop, is actually a very good pundit.
Like almost everyone, Neville waxed lyrical about Virgil van Dijk following yesterday’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Spurs.
The Dutchman pocketed Harry Kane throughout, but his most important piece of defending was to somehow navigate a one verses two into his favour, forcing Moussa Sissoko to shoot on his weaker left foot when Heung-Min Son was through supporting him.
Neville was mightily impressed.
“Young defenders, you must watch Virgil van Dijk. He picks the lesser of two evils. Sissoko can have it on his left foot, not letting him pass to Son. He can’t win it, you have a choice: which of these do I want to have the shot? It’s Sissoko. Really good defending,” he said on Sky Sports, cited by Melissa Reddy on Twitter.
We’ve never seen a defender as good as van Dijk. He may not have won anything with us yet, which will hopefully change this season – but in terms of individual ability – we’re not even sure anyone comes close.
Sami Hyypia was sensational, as was Jamie Carragher during his prime – but neither reached the level van Dijk is displaying on an almost weekly basis.