Liverpool supporters have reacted to a reoccurring notion that Manchester City defender Ruben Dias is currently operating at a similar capacity to Virgil van Dijk.
It’s fair to say that such comparisons have been swiftly shut down by a number of the Anfield faithful. Even Jurgen Klopp appeared bemused when questioned about the similarities between the two Premier League defenders.
“Yes he [Dias] had an impact – he is a good player,” Klopp said per the club’s official website. “City are a really good team. Good business, compared with Virgil? I don’t know Ruben as a person.”
The Dias and Van Dijk debate
Indeed, Dias, 23, has been a revelation at the Etihad Stadium ever since Pep Guardiola signed the Portuguese centre-back from Benfica last summer.
Alongside John Stones, the City duo are amongst the most in-form defensive partnerships in the division. It must be said, however, that City’s blossoming partnership has been made to shine even more so following the long-term injury to Van Dijk.
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The Dutchman has been out of action since October 17, after all, and Liverpool haven’t been able to thrive at a similar capacity to last season without their defensive lynchpin and chief organiser.
On the other hand, amid Liverpool’s defensive deficiencies this season, City have gone from strength-to-strength, much of this solely due to the impact of Dias.
Jamie Carragher has even tipped the 22-time Portugal international as the front-runner to win the PFA Player of the Year award.
Dias has clocked up 19 Premier League appearances since his City debut against Leeds in October. Since his arrival, Guardiola’s defensive quartet have conceded just seven goals.
Meanwhile, the combination of Dias and Stones has seen just one solitary goal get behind Ederson since their partnership was innovated on December 19.
No comparisons needed
Still, to suggest that Dias is currently operating on the same level of Van Dijk is a little premature. Yes, the former Benfica man has had a similar galvanising effect on City’s defensive prospects, but to put him on pedestal with the world’s best centre-back is far off the mark.
Let’s not forget it was Van Dijk who was the transformative signing that inspired Liverpool to a 196-points haul over two seasons, while also reaching back-to-back Champions League finals. This is the 2019 UEFA Player of the Year, after all, we are talking about here.
So, while we can appreciate just how good a defender Dias is, to suggest he is even capable of being mentioned on the same wavelength as Van Dijk is absurd.
Dias very-well could reach Van Dijk’s level further down the line in his career. He is only 23-years-old, after all. But for now, there is no questioning who the better defender is in the eyes of the Anfield faithful.
Here is a selection of responses from supporters weighing in on the Dias/ Van Dijk comparisons…