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'Will be special': Danjuma names the one Liverpool player he's desperate to test himself against tonight

Villarreal forward Arnaut Danjuma says he can’t wait to come up against Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk tonight.

The two players know each other well from starring in the Dutch National team together. And speaking to ESPN ahead of tonight’s Champions League game, Danjuma says the Liverpool man is the best defender around.

“I want to play against the best to prove myself and test myself against the best,” said the 25-year-old. “That’s why I play this game.”

“Obviously playing against Virg will be special for me because he is my captain in the national team. Defensively, I don’t think it gets any better than him, but I want to rank myself against the best.”

Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

Having scored 16 goals this season and recently downed both Juventus and Bayern Munich, Danjuma is confident he can worry Van Dijk.

“I think I’ve shown so far in my career that I can cause some damage. I have to keep doing it and be consistent, so I’m looking forward to a game against someone of his profile,” said the winger.

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No doubt Virgil is looking forward to the match-up too. Liverpool’s number 4 relishes the big occasions and has a will to win no matter the opposition.

Virgil the invincible

Van Dijk has long since had an aura about him that spooks a lot attackers he comes up against.

As Danjuma will soon find out, it’s one thing talking about the 30-year-old, but coming up against him in the flesh is a different matter entirely.

His calm nature on the pitch can sometimes give off an air of invincibility. The presence of Van Dijk along with Alisson Becker behind him often seems to give Liverpool a psychological edge before a game even begins.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Although there are other reasons for his comments as the two are friends, Danjuma’s words show how highly Van Dijk is regarded within the game. He is now a reference point for visiting attackers who are just happy to say they played against him.

For Liverpool to have a player like that has been a long time coming. As Virgil ticks into his 30’s, it’s important to cherish just how good he is.

There won’t be another like him for a very, very long time.

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