'Yes': Liverpool told they have 'outstanding' player who could become one of the best of all time
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

'Yes': Liverpool told they have 'outstanding' player who could become one of the best of all time

Former Chelsea captain John Terry has claimed that Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk could potentially be the best defender of all time.

Answering questions via his Instagram stories, Terry was asked whether the Liverpool star had the potential to be the best player ever in their shared position.

“Yes I do,” replied the 41-year-old. “I always say to be regarded as the very best LONGEVITY is key. He has been outstanding for the last 3/4 years, but to be the very best you need to be at the very top for 10/15 years.”

Given Terry’s standing as one of the great centre-backs of the last 20 years, that’s a big claim. Particularly as he is so openly associated with one of Liverpool’s rivals.

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An impossible comparison

It’s impossible really to compare players from different generations. The game changes so much from decade to decade that to compare on player against the other is an often fruitless task.

Is Van Dijk better than Terry was? Is he better than great players of the past such as Franco Baresi, Franz Beckenbauer or Bobby Moore?

As Terry points out, the 30-year-old is surely in the conversation based on ability alone.

Where Virgil is lacking when matched up against those stellar names of the past is in his trophy collection. Liverpool have gone about putting that right over the last few years. But Van Dijk still has some catching up to do.

He’ll represent his country at a major tournament for the first time this winter. Not only will Van Dijk be a key man for Holland, he’ll also be their captain and leader.

Photo by Nico Vereecken / Photo News via Getty Images

If he can take a relatively unfancied Dutch side deep into the competition, that will enhance his claim.

For many Liverpool fans, they don’t need any convincing. These debates are largely immaterial. Van Dijk is back to his best, and Van Dijk at the top of his game most certainly is the best defender around right now. He’s the yardstick that all centre-back’s aspire to reach.

With his long-term injury now almost two years behind him, he hopefully has yet another gear to reach during 2022/23.

Having turned thirty-one last week, the clock is starting to tick slowly on Virgil’s career. We should enjoy watching him while we can, as we are surely witnessing one of the absolute all-time greats in action.

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