Wilfried Zaha has waxed lyrical about Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk.
The Crystal Palace winger has claimed our Dutchman is the best in the business and that he can simply do things other central defenders cannot.
As a result, it causes Zaha genuine concern before games, which doesn’t happen teams who do not possess a player of van Dijk’s stature.
“He’s fast, calm, strong. He’s got everything,” Zaha told the Greatest Game podcast.
“Obviously Rio [Ferdinand] was just composed to the next level, but I feel like Virgil has everything down to a tee. Like to the point where he can muck about when a ball comes over the top and flick it around the striker and stuff and he’s fast enough to get back on to it.
“I don’t look into defender’s games as much as when I play against him.
“When we play against Liverpool it’s like, how am I going to get around this guy?”
We usually love hearing attackers talk about van Dijk, but with our best defender out for the season, it actually causes withdrawal symptoms!
Before the past fortnight, we’d dealt without the world’s best defender admirably, but our performances against West Brom, Newcastle and Southampton were shoddy – and many believed it was because of a lower defensive line and poor passing from the back – both a result of his absence.
There’s a small chance we’ll see van Dijk before the end of the season, but in reality, it’ll be next term when he’s back up to speed.
Hopefully Liverpool will surprise us and buy a new centre-back before the month is up.