Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has said he hopes his Netherlands central defensive partner Matthijs De Ligt makes 'the right next step' in his career, and says he is prepared to offer his input should the Reds decide to make a move for the Ajax star.
De Ligt has seen his burgeoning status as one of Europe's hottest prospects swell further this season, playing every minute of Ajax's Eredivisie and Champions League matches so far, and has been linked with virtually all of the continent's big spenders at one point or another - Liverpool not exempt.
Speaking to De Telegraaf about the 19-year-old, Van Dijk said: "He is already very mature, especially at that age. A good defender, good boy, calm, knows what he wants and hopefully he makes the right choice in his next step.
"He will be on the Liverpool shortlists, because they have enough scouts at the club.
"I'm not the best scout in the world, but if they need my opinion at Liverpool, I'll give it."
Van Djk joined Liverpool for £75m in January, and has gone on to become a central figure in the Reds' quest for the Premier League title this season, while earning the captain's armband for his national side - where he has featured largely alongside De Ligt.
And while the fee for Van Dijk remains a world record for a defender, there is a belief that De Ligt may be the player to surpass his captain and become the world's most expensive defender himself.
When asked about the possibility, Van Dijk said: "No, they will pay less for Matthijs. The amount for me was very high, though.
"No, without craziness, it's just like that and if he ever becomes the most expensive defender, I'll be the first to congratulate him."