By 90Min
September 23, 2018

Andy Gray has declared that Virgil van Dijk is the best central defender in football today.

The Dutchman, who joined Liverpool from Southampton back in January, has quickly built a reputation as a leader on the pitch for the Reds and has the game to back up the vocals as well.

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Van Dijk has been everything Liverpool have needed him to be and his performances have helped them maintain an unblemished record in their Premier League campaign thus far. 

Gray - who played as a striker for the likes of Aston Villa and Everton back in the day and is now a pundit - has admitted that he can't think of anyone who outshines the Reds man defensively.

James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

“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?’,” Gray said on beIN Sports.

“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.”

Gray would later confess that Sergio Ramos was probably the only exception, but didn't rate the Spaniard as being significantly better than Van Dijk anyway.

The Anfield side, meanwhile, will be facing two of their biggest tests next week, with a pair of matches against Chelsea coming up in the Carabao Cup and the league. And they could potentially face Maurizio Sarri's men bereft of their strongest defensive force.

The centre-back was forced off with a rib injury against Southampton on Saturday but Liverpool were able to emerge 3-0 winners, having scored all of their goals in the first half.

Jurgen Klopp has since played down the injury, saying it's nothing serious and should be okay.

James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

"He already had a bruise in the ribs before the PSG game, which is very uncomfortable and he got another hit there," the manager explained.

"It's not cool but should not be too serious. It should be absolutely OK, hopefully. I didn't hear anything different."

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