The Dutch centre-back, who arrived at Anfield in 2018 after a whopping £75m move from Southampton, lifted the Champions League title with the Reds in 2019.
Van Dijk was named PFA Players' Player of the Year in that same season, along with finishing behind Lionel Messi for the 2019 Ballon d'Or.
Van Dijk has been hailed for his impact in the Premier League, but the Dutchman has been criticised by some fans for not performing at a high level until he was 26.
Now, Twitter user Jack Bryant has made interesting comparisons between the former Southampton defender and several legends, including Nemanja Vidic, Eric Cantona and Robin van Persie.
Virgil Van Dijk was 26 when he came to Liverpool, many dismiss his class by claiming "he didn't decide to be good until he was 26"- Jack Bryant (@JackBryantt) March 21, 2021
Here's a thread of Premier League greats that peaked around the same age, if not later, but receive no criticism for a lack of longevity :arrow_down: pic.twitter.com/cf1TvCWrUP
Nemanja Vidic was 25 when he moved to Man United from Spartak Moscow- Jack Bryant (@JackBryantt) March 21, 2021
No one ever criticised Vidic for a "lack of longevity" when compared with Rio and Terry pic.twitter.com/d8zji16CgP
Didier Drogba moved to Chelsea in 2004 at the age of 26 from Marseille- Jack Bryant (@JackBryantt) March 21, 2021
Was never dismissed for peaking in his early 30's pic.twitter.com/QfnareRuVW
Eric Cantona was 3 months off his 26th birthday when he signed for Leeds- Jack Bryant (@JackBryantt) March 21, 2021
He even retired early at the age of 31 but that's never held against him pic.twitter.com/sLdM6koQmn
Robin Van Persie didn't scored more than 11 goals in a Premier League season until the age of 27- Jack Bryant (@JackBryantt) March 21, 2021
Again, never mentioned pic.twitter.com/X9dsWy3SkL
Fernandinho joined Man City at 28 from Shakhtar Donetsk and played his best football at the club under Pep who joined when he was 31- Jack Bryant (@JackBryantt) March 21, 2021
Never heard anyone say "Fernandinho didn't decide to get good until he was 30!" pic.twitter.com/ihMdOjLPzs
Claude Makélélé was 27 when he moved to Real Madrid from Celta Vigo- Jack Bryant (@JackBryantt) March 21, 2021
Why is that never brought up when comparing him to the worlds greatest defensive midfielders? pic.twitter.com/qDWJN1DTK1
Ian Wright's best years came in his late 20's and 30's for Arsenal pic.twitter.com/tBN77HEMUj- Jack Bryant (@JackBryantt) March 21, 2021
Liverpool's Premier League title defence has fallen flat as Manchester City hold a commanding 25-point lead over Jurgen Klopp's men.
Dutch legend Ruud Gullit has insisted that he wants to see Van Dijk return before the end of the season and play for Liverpool ahead of Euro 2020 this summer.
The 58-year-old former AC Milan star told beIN SPORTS: "I know for sure that if you saw the seriousness of the injury in the beginning, you already know that you're not going to play a lot of games with Liverpool.
"But you need to have a goal when you have an injury, and his goal was to at least get fit for the Euros, if it's possible.
"His doctors would say that as well, is it possible.
"Of course, the club wants him at least to play a couple of matches before he does, I think in Holland we want that as well.
"I can understand that he has that goal, and I hope that he does get it. If he's going to be fit, he doesn't have a lot of rhythm, so it's to be seen.
"For Holland, it's the most important thing that he plays some matches already with Liverpool."
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