Andy Gray has heaped praise on Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, claiming the towering defender is the best centre back in the world.
Van Dijk joined Liverpool from Southampton in January and has been a vital part of the Reds' impressive form in 2018. He has made 29 appearances for the club since his arrival, and has formed an impressive partnership with Joe Gomez in the heart of Liverpool's defence this season.
Speaking on beIN Sports, Gray was happy to admit that van Dijk has thoroughly surprised him, adding that he now believes that the Dutchman is the best defender in the world. He said: “Someone said to me, ‘Is he one of the best centre-backs in world football?’ It hadn’t crossed my mind at the time but then I suddenly thought, ‘Okay, who’s better?’
“I was honestly struggling to come up with three or four or five centre-backs who are better than him. He is as good as that’s around and, it doesn’t pain me to say it, but he’s a top footballer who’s going to get better.”
Whilst many fans of rival clubs would disagree that van Dijk is the world's top defender, it is undeniable that the 27-year-old has thoroughly transformed Liverpool since his arrival. He played a key part in Liverpool's run to the Champions League final, with his only absence being in the second leg of the last 16 as Liverpool already held a five-goal advantage over Porto.
I just said to Virgil Van Dijk What's that in your pocket? He said What are you on about James? I said Oh don't worry, it's just Harry Kane.— Boring James Milner (@BoringMilner) September 15, 2018
In recent years, Liverpool have been ridiculed for their poor defending, but Jurgen Klopp opted to spend a huge amount of money on van Dijk and he has certainly been rewarded for his commitment.