Jose Enrique has claimed that Harry Kane should have been made player of the year ahead of Manchester City’s Ruben Dias.
The 35-year-old added that he felt the Portuguese didn’t come close to Virgil van Dijk at his best, pointing out the No.4’s notable achievement of finishing second to Lionel Messi in the Ballon d’Or in 2019.
“Manchester City’s Ruben Dias was named FWA Player of the Year, but Virgil van Dijk – at his highest level – is still far and away a better player than Dias, in my opinion,” the former fullback told Empire of the Kop.
“Don’t get me wrong, Dias is a really, really good player. I believe he helped Manchester City a lot defensively, but van Dijk won Player of the Year and finished second in the Ballon d’Or behind Lionel Messi. I’ve never seen anything like it.
“Dias is up there, but Harry Kane was unbelievable this season and I think I’d have to name him my Premier League Player of the Year, if I’m excluding Liverpool players.
“Not just for his goals, but because of his assists. I love Kevin De Bruyne, I always rate him one of the best players in the Premier League, but for his goal contributions, I’d give it to Kane.”
The fact that Van Dijk even got close to perennial Ballon d’Or winner Messi is undeniably an achievement in of itself that will unlikely be replicated anytime soon.
Of course, you wouldn’t be hard-pressed to find a Liverpool fan willing to make a case that the Dutchman should have pipped the Barcelona star to the award – and rightly so.
Though we can’t deny that the Citizens defender did have an impact on Pep Guardiola’s backline, it objectively cannot be compared to the transformation of our own back four brought about by the introduction of the ex-Southampton man.
On this season’s contributions alone, however, it’s admittedly difficult to understand how Kane – winner of both the golden boot and playmaker of the season awards – was beaten to player of the season by the 24-year-old.
Nonetheless, once our own towering centre-half is back available for selection, we’d expect to have a few of our own players in the running for the award next term.