Brighton manager Chris Hughton believes Virgil van Dijk has what it takes to become one of the Premier League’s best ever defenders.
Van Dijk, who made the move to Liverpool from Southampton for a fee of £75million back in January 2018, has been exceptional under Jurgen Klopp.
His form has had many people talking, and Hughton believes Van Dijk deserves to be mentioned in the same bracket as the likes of John Terry, Sol Campbell and Rio Ferdinand.
“Is he that level of player? Yes of course, I’ve no doubt he is when you look at the qualities he’s got,” said Hughton, as quoted by Sky Sports.
“The other players we’ve mentioned have done it over a long period. If you’re asking me if he’s at their level as a player, then the answer is yes.
“But if you’re talking about an influence on our game and the history they have, then of course they’ve done it for a longer time and he hasn’t.”
Hughton does believe though that Van Dijk will show the consistency over a sustained period, as the centre-back has rare ability.
“What you have with all the best centre-halves, and it’s exactly the same with Van Dijk, is they make things look easier,” said Hughton.
“If you homed in on the job he’s done, the positions he is in, the pace that he shows, the distribution that he has, he looks such a good player.
“If you look at all the aspects of what you want in a centre-half: good in the air, comfortable with the ball at his feet, good enough pace, he has all those qualities.”