Ex-Liverpool star’s bold Virgil van Dijk comments ring true after Euro 2024 form

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Liverpool FC news: The Liverpool defender has been very impressive for Holland at Euro 2024.

Ex-Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock believes Virgil van Dijk is arguably the best ever Premier League centre-back - and his claim comes at the right time as Netherlands await their Euro 2024 semi-final. 

Van Dijk, who just turned 33, has been in imperious form for his country at the European Championships, captaining his side brilliantly to the semi-finals where they will face England. His performances have been duly noted and heavily praised despite unjust criticism from Dutch legends such as Marco Van Basten. 

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The ex-striker said: “Unfortunately, the criticism has not led to improvement, because it is actually the same points that are not going well. In that respect, it’s a bit disappointing. I’m sorry I have to say it again, but I can also keep my mouth shut." And yet, his figures paint a very positive story. 

Out of all the centre-backs at the Euros, no player has won more aerial duels (19) and he won six alone against Turkey and won seven duels, the most of any player on the pitch. He led by example as his side recovered from a one-goal deficit and a huge game with England awaits. 

As a result of his strong form, that was also evident across the 2023/24 Premier League season, Warnock believes that the Dutchman, at his very best, is the number one pick across the competition’s history. 

Speaking to BetVictor, Warnock said: “At his very best, Virgil van Dijk is one of the best defenders we’ve ever seen in the Premier League – he’s certainly in the top five. I’d even go as far as to say he’s arguably the best defender that the league has ever seen when he’s at his best. We saw him at the top of his game for three or four years up until he got injured, but even after that he performed very well.

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“We’ve seen some great defenders over the years in the Premier League with the likes of John Terry, Jaap Stam, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. It’s about their consistency over a long period of time and Van Dijk is certainly in that bracket.”

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