Former Red Sami Hyypia believes Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is currently the best centre-back in the world.

Liverpool signed Van Dijk from Southampton for a fee of £75 million back in January 2018. Since then, Liverpool have gone on and achieved some incredible things.

Van Dijk’s inclusion to Jurgen Klopp’s back four has seen Liverpool become one of the most reliable sides defensively over the past two years.

The Reds kept their seventh consecutive clean sheet in all competitions on Sunday as they defeated arch-rivals Manchester United 2-0 at Anfield in the Premier League. After the match, Hyypia was full of praise for the Dutchman.

“He’s the best centre back in the world at the moment,” Hyypia told beIN SPORTS.

READ: Jamie Carragher’s and Gary Neville’s reactions to Liverpool vs Man United

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JANUARY 19: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool celebrates scoring to make it 1-0 during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United at Anfield on January 19, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

READ: Virgil van Dijk explains how Liverpool have improved defensively as of late

“Pretty much he has no weakness. The fact was that when he came Liverpool were lacking leadership, it was too much for just James Milner and Jordan Henderson. When he came there was another leader on the field. He gives confidence to everyone, he gets everyone to play better.”

Hyypia is correct in regards to everything he has said. Van Dijk is a colossus of a defender, and there is no player like him in world football right now.

Without him, Liverpool would never have claimed the 2019 Champions League. It would also be fair to say that the Reds would not be on the cusp of Premier League greatness without him either, as they possess a 16-point lead at the top of the table with a game in hand.

He was very unlucky to finish second in the 2019 Ballon d’Or, but it is always difficult for a defender to claim the award.

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Freelance sports journalist and Red from Melbourne.

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