Liverpool U18s centre half Rhys Williams told the club’s official website that he takes inspiration from Virgil van Dijk.

The young defender was left without a voice after helping guide his U18 teammates to the FA Youth Cup final and he has now revealed that his role model at the club is Virgil van Dijk.

He told Liverpoolfc.com: “I’m just taller than him! But his stature is just ridiculous.

“He’s so calm and confident in what he does. You don’t see him panicking in big situations. He’s just a great role model for everyone.

Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

“I watch all the Liverpool games and he’s the main player I focus on. If they do analysis after the game and it’s on him, then I’ll record it or watch it there and then just to see if I can take bits of his game into mine.”

Van Dijk has been the best player for Liverpool and in the Premier League, on the whole, this season.

 

The example he is setting for younger defenders is immense and just goes to show that defenders can get the credit forwards do if they work hard enough.

Virgil van Dijk

Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images

The Dutchman joined Liverpool from Southampton for a world record £75million fee.

While he had his detractors before January 2018, there has barely been a bad word said about him ever since as he has helped guide the Reds to a Champions League final and the top of the Premier League table.

While he might need to wait for his first league medal as City seem likely to pip the Reds to the title this season, there is no taking away from what he’s accomplished over the last 16 months.

Virgil van Dijk

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Before he joined Liverpool, he turned down Manchester City and Chelsea – a decision he was warned against and criticised for taking.

His presence at the back has been the biggest factor in Liverpool being transformed into the best defensive side in all of Europe this season.

Rhys Williams could not have picked a better role model.