Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been crowned the Premier League Player of the Season.
Van Dijk, who won the PFA Player of the Year award last month, becomes the first defender to win the league’s best player prize since Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany in the 2011/12 season.
The Netherlands captain has started in every one of Liverpool’s 38 Premier League games this season and helped maintain 20 clean sheets.
Van Dijk’s aerial prowess, tactical awareness and leadership skills have proved to be an invaluable asset for the Reds, who could end a 29-year wait for league glory later today.
Now a panel of experts, fans and team captains voted for Van Dijk ahead of City stars Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero. The Dutchman’s Liverpool team-mates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were also in the mix along with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.
“It’s a great honour and I’m very proud,” Van Dijk told the Premier League’s website.
“Without everyone here at Liverpool, fans and players, it wouldn’t be possible so I will definitely give them credit for all of it as well.
“I think the whole season in the Premier League has been outstanding.”
Salah won the Premier League Player of the Year award last season.
Now, Liverpool and Van Dijk’s full focus will be on their decisive match against Wolves this afternoon.
Jurgen Klopp’s side must claim victory over Wolves at Anfield to stand any chance of leapfrogging City to win the league crown. Currently, a single point is all that separates the two teams.
Congratulations, @VirgilvDijk! 🙌
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 12, 2019