Once upon a time, there was a team in Merseyside. The team had a fan base who used to have near heart attacks when their team had to defend. Then the management understood its high time, they updated their defence.
So a big Dutchman was bought to the side. It did cost them a fortune, but till date, it proves to be a great bargain. £75 million is a huge amount of money but to build a title-winning side you have to spend some money.
Many times you have heard or read how Virgil Van Dijk has revolutionized the Liverpool defence. It is not always about the stats, but also the calmness and leadership that he brings to Liverpool. The opinions may be divided on who Liverpool's most important player is. Some say it is the Egyptian king, while others say it is the Senegalese superstar. Is it the hard-working Brazilian? Or the underrated Scottish captain? All of the above players are vital for the team, but Van Dijk! He is something else!
With Van Dijk in the lineup, even the faltering Matip looks like a confident ball playing Center Back. Van Dijk deserves a better partner, but Matip isn't doing bad either. The true character of a great is improving the people around him. So in that sense, Van Dijk is a great player. Isn't he?
Have you come across the latest Liverpool chant? "We watch him defend, we watch him score". A centre-half with an eye for the goal is a bliss. Not everyone can be a Ramos, but Van Dijk is certainly trying to catch him. He is on quite a scoring streak. Brace against Watford, Goal against Bayern Munich. Not bad for a centre-half.
So, if Liverpool are to win the League, they need Van Dijk in full flow. They need his calmness, leadership and his abilities. The goals are always a welcomed addition. So if Liverpool do happen to win the league, please hand over the Player of the Year award to the Dutchman without any hesitation.Published 26 Mar 2019, 11:37 IST