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Van Dijk is the best defender in the world: Merson

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Watford FC at Anfield on February 27, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
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The former English Premier League footballer believes the Liverpool player is a candidate for the EPL Player of the Year Award.

Virgin van Dijk has been delivering really great performances for Liverpool lately in the English Premier League.

He has been praised by many of the EPL’s experts, and now another one is added to the list as former Premier League footballer Paul Merson said van Dijk was the best defender in the world.

“Yes, in my opinion. He’s unbelievable. He’s so good, it’s scary. He’s the best in the world, and I think by a long way, as a defensive centre-half,” he told Sky Sports.

“Some players just see Van Dijk and kick the ball away. I saw Theo Walcott last week, he went down the right, Van Dijk comes across, and he thinks: ‘Uh oh…’ and kicks the ball away. Normally, Theo would try to take someone on with his pace.”

“I can’t talk highly enough of him. He’s Alan Hansen. You can put his kit back in the skip for next week, you don’t even have to wash it, he can wear it again. He’s an absolutely different class,” he continued.

“This man is a colossus. In more ways than his 6ft 4in frame. The way he strikes that pose on that pitch. He is imposing,” former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson also praised Van Dijk.

“It’s the way he glides through games, reading it. Last week, people were saying after half an hour that Dominic Calvert Lewin was having a fantastic game. He was inside the top pocket of Virgil.”

“In the second half when it wasn’t going Liverpool’s way, he remonstrates with people, for example with Fabinho when he’d given it away. He was absolutely going for him,” he added.

“I’ve seen that even more in him, the leadership. He’s set his standards high, and he maintains them. He’s a nine or 10 out of 10 every week.”