Sir Kenny Dalglish has lauded Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk as the club’s most talented defender ever, alongside Alan Hansen.
Van Dijk, 29, has been one of the most transformative signings of the modern era, clocking up 130 appearances at Anfield.
In just three short years, he has helped add the Premier League and Champions League to the club’s illustrious collection of silverware. In 2019, he finished as runner-up for the Ballon d’Or.
The best of the best
His influence on Jurgen Klopp’s team has been gargantuan, to say the least. Perhaps the best indicator of his quality has been showcased throughout his sustained absence this season.
Without their talismanic defensive lynchpin and chief organiser, Liverpool have suffered immeasurably. Having won the league title at a canter last season, this term has seen a dramatic decline.
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In Van Dijk’s absence, Liverpool have fallen 25 points behind league leaders Manchester City. Having amassed a whopping club-record 99 points in 2019/20, the Reds this time around are 53 points worse off with just nine games left to play.
It’s no wonder, then, that Van Dijk has been paraded as arguably Liverpool’s most important player. Without him, it’s fair to say, they are a completely different team.
Dalglish on Van Dijk
And this is something that former Liverpool manager and player, Dalglish, has picked up on. The legendary Anfield icon has lauded Van Dijk on Instagram as the most talented Liverpool defender ever, alongside his former teammate, Hansen.
Van Dijk, who is the only defender to have been crowned the UEFA Player of the Year, is currently on the sidelines having ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament back in October.
A timescale hasn’t been placed on his recovery, although both his club and international manager have stated that they do not expect Van Dijk to return this season.
The 38-time Netherlands international has since responded to Dalglish’s words of praise by placing the crown emoji on top of the Liverpool icon, who is regularly referred to as ‘King Kenny’.