Former Liverpool and Manchester United player Paul Ince has claimed that Virgil van Dijk has the potential to be just what Liverpool needed to start winning trophies, just as Eric Cantona was at United.

Cantona is often seen as one of Sir Alex Ferguson's best ever signings for United, as he became one of the most influential players the club has ever seen in his relatively brief stay at Old Trafford. 

The Frenchman helped United on their way to creating a stronghold on the Premier League that last well over ten years, and is considered one of the best players to grace the English top flight.


Van Dijk has had a massive influence since arriving at the Merseyside club, conceding a mere 14 goals in 24 games this season. Signed around a year ago for a huge £75m, he has played a big part in improving the Liverpool defence.

Paul Ince has insisted that the Dutchman's performances could mean success is coming their way, similar to Cantona's impact for United in 1993. Ince told The Times: "When we brought Eric Cantona in, it was the final piece of the jigsaw.

"When he came into the changing room for the first time, he was a big man, a big presence of a man, and his attitude matched our attitude. He had a will to win titles, he wanted to be successful."

Ince emphasised the fact that Liverpool have the same 'fear factor' Manchester United had when Cantona arrived, with teams scared to play against the Merseysiders. Van Dijk is slowly becoming exactly what the Reds needed, with defence in particular being a long-term weakness.