By 90Min
December 23, 2018

Liverpool's Sadio Mané has admitted that there were fears that the Reds had overpaid when they splashed £75m on Virgil Van Dijk in January.

However, the Dutch centre-back has been a colossal presence at the back for Liverpool since he signed from Southampton, and has recently been touted as one of the best defenders in the world. Whilst the £75m price-tag seemed steep, Van Dijk's current worth is well in excess of that fee now.

The Reds kept their 11th Premier League clean sheet against Wolves on Friday night as Van Dijk's second-half strike sealed a 2-0 victory for Jürgen Klopp's side. 

GEOFF CADDICK/GettyImages

Speaking about Van Dijk's impact at the club, Mané said (as reported by the Express): “It's been a big, big impact. We've all seen it."

He continued: “Of course at the time he signed people were thinking that the club had over-paid for Virgil. But since then everyone has forgotten about the fee because his form has been so good.

“He's done such a great job for us back there. I am so happy to have him as a team-mate. He's one of the leaders. You can see it in every single game.

“He has proved he's one of the best defenders in the world.”

Van Dijk has be the focal point of a Liverpool defence just has conceded just seven goals in 18 Premier League games. Having scored 11 goals less than Manchester City, it is clear that the Reds' defence is propelling them towards Premier League glory. 

The great Liverpool teams of the past were always blessed with incredible defensive talents, and Kenny Dalglish believes that Van Dijk is behind only Jamie Carragher as the best defender to grace the Anfield turf.

The Liverpool legend said: “Just behind Carra [Jamie Carragher]", when asked where Van Dijk ranks amongst the club's greatest ever centre-backs.

Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Klopp's side next face Newcastle at home on Boxing Day, as they aim to preserve and build on their four-point lead at the top of the table. With a double-header against Manchester City and Arsenal on the horizon, that Boxing Day fixture is a must-win for Liverpool. 

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)