Liverpool player’s ‘masterclass’ performance vs City was so good Phil Foden paid his respects

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Regardless of whether or not Virgil van Dijk has reached his best levels once more or surpassed them, we can all agree that the Dutchman is one of the most gifted centre-halves English football has ever seen.

Garth Crooks was full of praise for the former Southampton defender’s ‘masterclass’ of a display against Manchester City at the weekend.

Such was the quality of his defensive efforts Phil Foden was spotted paying his respects to the 32-year-old during the 1-1 draw at Anfield.

“His general passing and distribution of the ball was [Bobby] Charlton-esque, while Van Dijk never gave Haaland a kick throughout the match,” the BBC Sport columnist wrote in his Team of the Week column.

“However, the sliding tackle on Foden in the second half, as the City forward was about to instigate a counter-attack, was telling. Firstly, because you seldom see Van Dijk on his backside, but the occasion demanded it and the quality of the tackle brought a respectful pat on the back from Foden.

“This was a Van Dijk masterclass.”

You only need to look at the No.4’s record at L4 to appreciate just how integral he’s been for the club since his move to Merseyside in 2018.

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Is Virgil van Dijk leaving Liverpool?

Concerns over the Dutchman’s contact, set to run out in over a year’s time, have sparked fears that Van Dijk could call time on his Liverpool career when Jurgen Klopp departs.

Given the structure FSG have put in place over the years, we’d urge fans to rest assured that the club will commit to sealing the centre-half’s future beyond 2025.

Virgil van Dijk and Mo Salah’s contracts expire in 2025 – (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Netherlands international has certainly proven that his best days are far from behind him.

If we’re considering whether or not he can maintain such levels for the foreseeable future, we’d suggest the club considers the example being set in London by a 39-year-old Thiago Silva.

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