'The best': Charlie Austin says he never played with anyone nearly as good as 'standout' Liverpool man
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

'The best': Charlie Austin says he never played with anyone nearly as good as 'standout' Liverpool man

Charlie Austin has claimed that Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk is the best player he ever played with during his career.

Speaking to TalkSPORT, Austin was asked about his time with Van Dijk at Southampton. The striker said that he was stunned that Liverpool weren’t rivalled by Manchester United for the Dutchman’s signature.

“He (Van Dijk) was linked with a lot of people,” said Austin. “I said to him “Virg come on, how did Man United miss you and not come in”, I think Jose was in charge, and he said “they went for (Victor) Lindelof in the summer instead.” I was like, “what?!” and he said “yeah, they went for Lindelof.””

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Austin said that personally he was surprised at a lack of movement from United. Not Van Dijk though, as he only ever wanted to play for Liverpool.

“Even though he had his heart set on going to Liverpool the whole time, you’d think a player like Virgil coming on the market, Man United would go for him wouldn’t you?” said the QPR striker.

Then asked whether his Saints teammates at the time knew that Virgil was a ‘Rolls Royce’, Austin was emphatic in his agreement.

“Yes. Honestly, he was a standout. The best player I played with by a long, long way. He’s a standout, yeah.”

Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images

The Virgil Van Dijk fan club

Although Austin isn’t one of the more illustrious names Van Dijk has played alongside, it’s still great to hear.

It comes after Van Dijk has been on the receiving end of lavish praise from ex-players this week. That followed on from an excellent display in last Sunday’s game against Manchester City.

Micah Richards said Virgil was ‘something else’ having watched him live at the Etihad Stadium. The former England defender couldn’t get over how good the 30-year-old’s positioning was and also labelled him a ‘Rolls Royce.’

Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Manchester United legend Nemanja Vidic was keen to give his two cents on the £75m man too.

Speaking to The Athletic, Vidic said that Van Dijk was ‘one of – if not the best – centre-back in the world.’ The only weakness the ex-United man could find in Virgil’s game is that he plays for Liverpool!

These opinions serve to back-up what we’re able to see on a weekly basis for The Reds – Virgil Van Dijk is simply the best defender currently walking the Earth.

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