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Sterling gets Van Dijk’s vote for the PFA gong

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Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has disclosed he voted for Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling to be named PFA player of the year.

Both players are among the top contenders for the individual accolade awarded to the best footballer in the top flight of English football.

Van Dijk has been a solid rock at the back of the Reds defence- helping Liverpool deliver a sustained Premier League title challenge.

On the other hand, Sterling, a former Liverpool player, has netted 15 league goals for City in their bid to retain the crown.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – MARCH 23: Raheem Sterling (10) and Jordan Henderson of England (8) battle with Patrick van Aanholt and Virgil van Dijk of the Netherlands during the international friendly match between Netherlands and England at Johan Cruyff Arena on March 23, 2018, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

However, Van Dijk revealed Sterling was his preferred choice for the individual award.

“I voted for Raheem Sterling,” Van Dijk told reporters via ESPN.

“I did what I thought and I thought he deserves it. He’s had a fantastic season. I could have voted for Bernardo Silva as well and another couple of players from Manchester City.

“But I’m just being honest. I think he has improved a lot as a player.”

PFA rules prohibit players from voting for their team mates.

The Reds, currently at the summit of the Premier League are still in the hunt for the Champions League trophy and play Porto in the first leg of their quarter-final later on Tuesday.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – APRIL 08: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool attends a Liverpool press conference ahead of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final match against FC Porto. at Anfield on April 08, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Van Dijk said he was focused on winning with the team, not on individual accolades.

“Individual trophies? I don’t know,” the Dutchman added. “Of course, you’re going to be proud, that’s something you have to be, but all the hard work in the training ground is something we all did together.

“It is to win something as a team, a collective thing as a club. Hopefully, that is something that will happen.”