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'Never seen anything like it': Owen believes Liverpool star is now the best 'of all time' in his position

Michael Owen believes Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk is the best centre-half ‘of all time’. There’s only one argument against it, he says.

Michael Owen and Rio Ferdinand has an interesting discussion about Virgil van Dijk for BT Sport on Tuesday evening. The two of them firmly believe that the Liverpool defender is the best centre-back in the world right now.

“He’s the best centre-back on the planet right now,” said Ferdinand. “Easy.”

Owen, however, was willing to make an even bigger claim. After saying that the Dutchman was even better than Ferdinand himself, he declared that Van Dijk might be the best ever.

“I’d go further. I think he’s the best centre-half of all time, yeah,” said Owen. “He scored a few more goals [thank Ferdinand] but there’s not much [separating then] – we’re talking about the greatest here. Rio was the best centre-half I ever played with.

“As a centre-forward, I look at [Van Dijk] and think ‘what do you do against him?’. He’s bigger than everyone, he’s faster than everyone, he’s stronger than everyone, he’s brilliant on the ball, he scores goals – I’ve never seen anything like it.

“The only thing that goes against him at the moment – and I stress at the moment – is his winners’ medals.”

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Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk

Van Dijk is back playing to his ridiculously high standards after last year’s setback. In fact, he’s earning praise from all quarters – Peter Crouch and Tim Sherwood both called out his wonderful form in recent weeks. Jamie Carragher even named him in an all-time Liverpool XI just last month.

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The greatest ever, though? We can see Owen’s argument. Van Dijk’s skillset might actually be the best ever and there are times when it feels as though he has absolutely no weakness. No matter what kind of player you put up against him, the Dutchman deals with it.

But as Owen also says, he hasn’t quite got the medals to compete with the other greats. Someone like Franco Baresi won six Serie A titles and three European cups as the backbone of AC Milan’s defence. Van Dijk can’t measure up to that kind of trophy haul right now.

Who knows, though? The next few years – even this season – could see Van Dijk earn the medals his talent deserves. And once he’s got those, Owen’s argument will look a whole lot more justified.

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