We rather like these quotes from Ollie McBurnie of Sheffield United.
The striker, whose team were doing brilliantly before the season was curtailed by COVID-19, has explained how his experience of coming up against Virgil van Dijk was particularly eye-opening early on.
“It took me a few months to get up to speed. I had to do gym for the first time in my life!” McBurnie told the Sheffield Star.
“I bounced off van Dijk and realised I needed to do a bit of bench press. He had everything and I felt like a little girl against him.
“I’m skinnier than a lot of defenders so when the ball goes up in the air, I give them a nudge in the air and that’s always worked, at any level.
“I tried it with van Dijk. He was off-balance, and I still bounced straight off him. I thought: ‘I’ll have to go and play off Joel Matip here instead!’.”
McBurnie isn’t the first striker to talk about van Dijk in this manner. Troy Deeney regularly waxes lyrical about him, while Glenn Murray claimed Liverpool’s no.4 treated him like a 12-year-old child!
There is no doubt whatsoever that the Dutchman is the best central defender on the planet.
His arrival at Anfield has enabled us to develop into one of the best sides, if not the best, on the planet – as before Jurgen Klopp bought him – our defence was at times shambolic!
Now, especially now Alisson is between the sticks, we’d argue that Liverpool have the best keeper, the best right-back, the best left-back an the best centre-back on the planet.