While big-money transfers have gotten more and more common, the prospect of value has become rare. Currently, the football landscape is filled with infatuated transfer market valuations, and only a few players can actually claim that their premium price tags were worth it.
One of those, undoubtedly, is Virgil van Dijk.
The Dutchman signed for Liverpool for a reported price of £75m, a value the Reds were mocked for paying at the time. Flash forward to the present day, and VVD seems like a bargain. Bolstered by the assurance he provides in defence, Liverpool have already won the coveted Champions League and long-elusive title of the Premier League. And it’s safe to assume, Van Dijk still has quite a bit of time left at Anfield. During his stint at the Reds, Van Dijk has garnered plenty of admirers, from players to pundits, many have lauded the Netherlands international as the best centre-back in the world.
His latest admirer is Brighton Striker Neal Maupay, and his comments essentially sum up Van Dijk.
Speaking on the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel before the game against Liverpool, the forward was asked about the toughest defender he has come up against. He responded with Van Dijk and said, “the man is just too strong, too rapid, too tall, too everything, just hard!”
The Frenchman has delivered perhaps the most honest assessment of how it feels like to come up against the towering Dutchman. Standing at 6’4, Van Dijk is surprisingly quick, and also possesses excellent technical ability.
Word of his ability has travelled far and wide, so much so that players are often intimidated by the sight of him, a recent example being Lautaro Martinez. And reasonably so, after all, no forward wants to get bodied by the formidable Dutchman and watch him nonchalantly walk away with that signature smirk on his face.