Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has claimed he believes that Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is one the Premier League's best frontmen when fit.
In a chat with former Manchester United centre-half Rio Ferdinand for YouTube channel Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE, while promoting FIFA 18, van Dijk revealed the toughest strikers he's ever faced.
Speaking to Ferdinand, the 25-year-old said: "I think Sturridge when he is fit. He's a great striker. I think [Sergio] Aguero is also an amazing striker - small, quick."
Van Dijk was heavily linked with a move to Sturridge's Liverpool throughout the summer as Jurgen Klopp sought to bolster his defensive options. However, after a protracted and at times controversial transfer saga, the Dutch international remained at St. Mary's despite handing in a transfer request.
The Reds were reportedly prepared to part with a fee that would have eclipsed their own transfer record, while van Dijk was extremely keen on the switch from the outset of the window. However, rumours of an alleged 'tapping up' sparked a complaint from the Saints, while Liverpool were forced into an embarrassing apology and pledge to halt their pursuit of the star.
Van Dijk, however, continued to air his grievances as the summer window dragged on, but the club held firm against his transfer request wish.
His comments about Sturridge, as well as a prediction about Liverpool's Champions League hopes, suggest he may still harbour hope of a switch to Merseyside and gives Liverpool encouragement to pursue him once again in January or next summer.