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Kompany: Liverpool were always vulnerable before Van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool
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Vincent Kompany says he admires Virgil van Dijk’s defending style while emphasizing his importance in the Liverpool team.

While the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are often the ones who steal the spotlight, Virgil van Dijk has arguably been as important as the duo, if not more, in Liverpool’s recent success.

Within six months of arriving at Anfield in 2018 in a then world-record transfer, Van Dijk guided Liverpool to a Champions League final which unfortunately resulted in a defeat to Real Madrid. A year later, however, he was able to get his hands on Europe’s biggest prize.

The Dutchman’s exploits also saw him earn a second-place finish in the Ballon d’Or rankings.

Vincent Kompany recently reiterated his earlier claim that Van Dijk is the world’s best defender. The former Manchester City center-back insists Liverpool had a huge gap in their team which was only filled by the 28-year old’s arrival.

He told BBC’s Football Focus: “The reason why I said it is because Liverpool were a great team before Virgil van Dijk arrived. Yet they were always vulnerable. I never felt that supremacy that they showed this year.

“It’s very difficult to have a player that has such a big impact at a big club. He has brought back old school defending with a modern twist – and I respect that.

“What he does is simple but it’s so effective. It’s such an art which I respect.”