Former England international Kevin Phillips has urged Liverpool to tie Virgil van Dijk down on a new deal.

Van Dijk, who signed for Liverpool from Southampton for a transfer fee of £75 million in January 2018, has arguably been Jurgen Klopp’s most important signing.

In the past eight months, Liverpool have won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

Liverpool will also add the Premier League title to the aforementioned list of achievements when the coronavirus clears.

The recent trophies that Liverpool have won have been a result of Klopp signing the correct players, but there is no denying that Van Dijk played the biggest role in terms of getting Liverpool back to the top.

With that being the case, Phillips believes that it is very important that the club offer Van Dijk a new deal soon.

Phillips told Football Insider: “It is hugely important. It is amazing how much one player has made a difference. Ultimately, he is their best player and their best asset.

“You would certainly want to tie him down, give him within reason anything he wants, to tie him down for the next four or five years. He is only going to get better. If Liverpool want to compete year in and year out he is a player they need on board.

“They do not want to be in a situation like Arsenal when they have let a player run their contract down and lose him for nothing.

“The way he plays, as long as he does not pick up any nasty injuries, I would say he has another eight years left – at least six quality seasons. When you are playing a top side, and dominating games, you do not tend to do as much running! It helps.”

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WATFORD, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 29: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Liverpool FC at Vicarage Road on February 29, 2020 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

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Phillips is correct. The longer that Van Dijk stays at Liverpool the better. Without the Dutchman, Liverpool would not be back at the top of club football.

He is by far the best centre-back in world football. It has been a number of years since the Reds have possessed a defender of Van Dijk’s calibre.

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Freelance sports journalist and Red from Melbourne.

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