Watford captain Troy Deeney has claimed that Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk is the best defender in the Premier League.
Liverpool paid a world record fee of £75m in January for the Dutch defender, ending his stay at Southampton.
Deeney recently went up against Van Dijk in Watford’s humbling 5-0 defeat to the Reds at Anfield last month. Deeney has had plenty of experience in facing Van Dijk with the pair facing off against each other numerous times in the past few seasons.
Speaking to Graham Hunter on ‘The Big Interview’ podcast, Deeney said with regards to Van Dijk “He’s the best by far.”
When asked to compare playing against defenders such as John Terry, John Stones and Virgil Van Dijk, Deeney acknowledged that Van Dijk’s attributes stand out against other defenders he has faced, “[He’s] six foot six inches tall, quick, confident with the ball at his feet, and doesn’t mind a physical battle. He’s the closest thing we’ve got to a complete defender in the Premier League.”
Van Dijk is a natural born leader and many Liverpool fans have noticed how vocal he is during matches.
Deeney witnessed this first-hand last month and added “He’s also a non-stop talker. Communication is massive for a defender, and he says those little things that people from the outside don’t see. I think he’s going to make a huge difference to that Liverpool team.”
Since the arrival of Van Dijk to Liverpool, the club has kept 9 clean sheets in the past 15 games.
With an upturn of form from Loris Karius and a settled back four, the Reds defence will be looking to add to their clean sheets in their remaining games of the season.