Former Manchester United defender turned pundit Gary Neville has admitted he has been surprised to see the impact that Virgil van Dijk has had at Liverpool following the centre back's big money move to Anfield back in January.
The Netherlands international put pen to paper on a five and a half year contract on Merseyside following months of speculation surrounding the move, eventually ending a three-year spell with Southampton for an estimated £75m.
Since then, the former Celtic defender has helped marshal Jürgen Klopp's defence and was vital in guiding them to the Champions League final last season, even acting as a key part of Dejan Lovren's recent form which was on display at the World Cup.
And Sky Sports pundit Neville has claimed he has been surprised at just how much Van Dijk has made an impact at Liverpool, adding that the 27-year-old is showing similarities with a former fan favourite defender at Old Trafford.
"I thought Van Dijk was a good player at Southampton, but I didn’t think he was worth £75m, and I didn’t think he would have the impact on Liverpool’s defence that he’s had," Neville told the Gary Neville Podcast, via Sky Sports.
Just remember that as well as the new signings this is Van Dijk’s first FULL season for us. We’ve saw him coming in Jan and kept the most clean sheets than any other player in the PL since, we can enjoy our defence being solid for a whole season now.— . (@VintageSalah) August 13, 2018
"He’s a monster, and is looking a bit like Jaap Stam. It looks like he just throws people out of the way."
Liverpool fans will be hoping Van Dijk can live up to expectations once again in his first full season with the club as they look to challenge for their first ever Premier League title.
The arrivals of Alisson Becker, Naby Keita and Fabinho over the summer have helped give the Reds a push heading into the new season, something which was on display during their 4-0 win over West Ham, and many expect the club to be Manchester City's closest challengers this year.