Virgil van Dijk: Former Groningen team-mates say they knew Liverpool defender was destined to become world-class


Virgil van Dijk: Former Groningen team-mates say they knew Liverpool defender was destined to become world-class

Liverpool superstar Virgil van Dijk has had an excellent season and has now been named PFA Player of the Year.

His contributions have helped take the Reds to within touching distance of the Premier League and reach the Champions League semi-finals.

An inclusion in the PFA Team of the Year was a given and now, he has beaten Raheem Sterling to win the individual award, becoming the third defender to do so in Premier League history.

Van Dijk has made Liverpool defensively solid

Van Dijk, who moved to Liverpool for £75million in January 2018, has been widely credited with improving their defence, which this campaign has conceded just 20 goals in 35 matches and losing only once, as they contest a dramatic title race with Manchester City.

While Van Dijk has progressed into what many people are considering the world’s best defender over the past couple of years, the 6ft 4in centre-back actually began his career as a goal-getter in the Erdedivisie with Groningen.

“When Virgil first started playing for the first team he did so as a striker,” Finland international and former team-mate Tim Sparv, once on the books at Southampton, told Dream Team.