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Sport24.co.za | Carragher backs Van Dijk for Liverpool greatness

Sport24.co.za | Carragher backs Van Dijk for Liverpool greatness
Sport24.co.za | Carragher backs Van Dijk for Liverpool greatness

Cape Town - Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk has the ability to become one of the club's greatest players, according to former Reds defender Jamie Carragher.

The 27-year-old, who cost Liverpool £75 million in January, put in another impressive performance on Monday night as he helped the Merseysiders beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park.

The Dutchman appears to have largely solved Liverpool's defensive problems and Carragher has backed the former Southampton and Celtic defender to become one of the club's legends.

“I knew Van Dijk was a good player, but he is better than what I thought," Carragher told Sky Sports.

“We've always said Liverpool can't win the Premier League because of their defence, but now they have Van Dijk, who I think is the best centre-back in the Premier League.

“I can't think of a defender off the top of my head that is better. He's the man to step into the position (Manchester City captain) Vincent Kompany has had over the last four seasons as that leader and colossus.

“They are very similar as players - there is nothing they lack. When Kompany was at his best three years ago, I didn't think there was a centre-back that was better than him.

"Over the next three or four years, if Liverpool could win a league or a Champions League, I think Van Dijk has the potential to actually go down alongside Alan Hansen if we're talking about Liverpool's best ever teams - that's how good he is and how good he can become.

"If Liverpool under [Jurgen] Klopp win something big, and Van Dijk is at the centre of it, he should be disappointed if he's not alongside Hansen when people talk about the great Liverpool centre-backs.

"There isn't another centre-back that ticks almost every boxes in terms of presence, pace, strength and ability on the ball.

"Normally a player has a couple of those, they are lacking somewhere else and their defensive partner will cover some of those areas. Van Dijk has all of them at the moment.

"Players and leaders like him have to be the ones that take Liverpool to something big. That's when you'll be remembered, when you win something big."

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