Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has revealed he believes Virgil Van Dijk is Jürgen Klopp’s greatest signing as Liverpool manager.
Speaking to SportsKeeda, Merson describes Van Dijk as a “Rolls Royce of a defender” and an “unreal signing for the Reds.”
Before revealing his belief that the £75 million deal which brought Van Dijk from Southampton to Liverpool is Klopp’s best bit of transfer business to date as Reds’ boss, he suggested 4 other players who were in with a shout.
Andy Robertson sits in fifth place on Merson’s list. The former Arsenal midfielder praises Liverpool’s scouts for finding such a gem for just £8 million.
Fourth is the recently departed Sadio Mané. Merson believes people “take for granted” how good Mané was at Liverpool and “maybe they’ll realise his importance when they start the new season without him.”
In third is Liverpool’s talisman, Mo Salah. The Egyptian has scored 118 goals in 180 games for the Reds, and many might argue he should be higher up this list. Merson describes Salah as “genuinely unplayable at his best.”
Just behind Van Dijk in second is Alisson Becker. Merson heaps praise on Alisson, suggesting his signing was “just as important” as Van Dijk’s.
The Sky pundit's rankings will be seen by most of the football community as largely accurate.
While the likes of Salah and Mané have been crucial to Liverpool’s relentless attacking play over the years, Alisson and Van Dijk steadied the ship, and turned Liverpool from a good team into a great one.
Van Dijk’s ability to pick up last term where he left off pre-injury was crucial for Liverpool.
He proved to be a calming presence in the Liverpool defence, once again becoming undroppable under Jürgen Klopp.
The debate at Anfield regarding centre-backs tends to revolve around Van Dijk’s partner rather than the Dutchman himself.
Ibrahima Konaté settled into Premier League life well last season, but his place in the team is far from secure.
Both Joel Matip and Joe Gomez will be fighting to wrestle that place off the French centre-back next season.
One thing is for sure though, if Van Dijk can avoid injuries, he’ll remain ever present for Liverpool.
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