Premier League: Vincent Kompany names Virgil van Dijk as best defender in league's history
- Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany picked Virgil van Dijk as the greatest defender in Premier League history.
- Virgil van Dijk is currently two wins away from winning the Premier League title with Liverpool.
Premier League legend Vincent Kompany has picked Virgil van Dijk as the greatest defender in the league's illustrious history. The Dutchman joined Liverpool for a then world-record fee of £75 million and has since then gone on to become an indispensable member of Jurgen Klopp's side.
Van Dijk was named PFA Player of the Year in his first full season at the club and, in doing so, became the first Premier League defender since John Terry in 2005 to win the award.
A few months later, the Premier League superstar also finished second to Lionel Messi in the 2019 Ballon d'Or, as he aimed to become the first defender since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 to claim the prized accolade.
Greatest in Premier League history?
When quizzed about the subject by Sporf, Kompany singled out Van Dijk for special praise and went on to explain his importance to the runaway Premier League leaders.
“I would bring it back to Virgil van Dijk, and it’s a weird one because he hasn’t been on the scene for as long as these names we mentioned... John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, these guys were there for a long, long time.”
“But the signs he showed in his last few years just make it so obvious that if he would’ve been at the top, top-level before that, he would’ve been already further as well.”
Having won 4 Premier League titles with Manchester City, Kompany is one of the greatest players in the club's history, and the former central defender lavished praise on the Dutchman's impact at Liverpool.
“And from what I’ve seen in terms of having an impact on the team, and a defender is never about himself, it’s about his communication with other guys and how you make your team more solid.”
“And the Liverpool before van Dijk and the one after him, it’s a completely different setup, and I’ll give him that one because of that."
Van Dijk has been an ever-present for Liverpool in the Premier League this season and has played a pivotal role in their success so far, as they remain two wins away from sealing their first Premier League title in 30 years.
Since joining for a world-record fee for a defender at the time, the former Southampton man has established himself as one of the best players in the Premier League. The 2018-19 season was a pivotal one for van Dijk, as he won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool while also being named Man of the Match in the final.
Manchester City and Liverpool were involved in one of the most tightly contested title races in Premier League history last season. As fate would have it, Kompany scored a late goal against Leicester City to bail his team out, a result that seemingly handed them the initiative in the title race.
At the age of 28, Van Dijk has time on his side to retire as one of the greats of the game, and Kompany's claims gives us a timely reminder of his importance to Liverpool.