John Terry believes Virgil van Dijk would “100 per cent” be a worthy winner of the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award.
The Holland international has been a colossus in the Liverpool defence since making a £75m move from Southampton in January 2018 and has been involved in 19 Premier League clean sheets so far this season.
Does Van Dijk deserve the Player of the Year award? Five key things to know…
- In the eyes of most, Van Dijk’s main rival for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award is Raheem Sterling.
- The City forward has 17 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League this season.
- Van Dijk has been involved in 19 clean sheets and completed more passes (2548) than any other Premier League defender this term.
- Terry is the last defender to win the award, in 2004/05 as Chelsea won the league and conceded just 15 goals in the process.
- He believes Van Dijk would “100 per cent” be a worthy winner.
That form has seen the Reds concede just 20 goals this season, the fewest in the English top flight, and Terry believes the Dutchman’s “immense” performances are fully deserving of the highest accolades.
Terry told the Times:“He’s been immense. I was on Monday Night Football with Jamie Carragher when he had just signed and there were questions over the fee being too much for a defender.
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“I’ve been a big fan of his over the years anyway and at the time I thought it was good value and now it looks like a snip because he’s been immense in a very strong, consistent Liverpool team.
“The things I love most about him is that he takes no risks. Week after week it’s just good, solid defending.”
Terry calls for PFA awards change
Terry is the last defender to have won the PFA’s highest honour, back in 2004/05 as Chelsea stormed to the title conceding just 15 goals in 38 games.
And while the now Aston Villa coach understands why strikers and midfielders usually take the top prizes, he believes the PFA should take a leaf out of Uefa’s book by making awards to reflect individual positions.
“Naturally with these kind of awards nights it’s mainly the strikers and midfielders, the guys scoring and making headlines that generally go on to win it, so I wasn’t overly confident,” he added.
“But I knew I’d had a good season. I’d scored a lot of goals and Chelsea were top of the league. It’s the strikers who tend to get all the headlines as they’re usually the match winners.
“As a defender, you can do all the right things in a game but it doesn’t get shown on Match of the Day or Sky Sports News.
“There is a lot of great defending that goes into keeping the ball out of the net but it’s not the side that people really want to see.
“It’s an art in itself and I actually think the PFA should create an award for each individual position – the best goalkeeper, the best defender, the best midfielder and the best striker as well as an overall player and young player award.
“UEFA do that and it gives everyone a fair chance.”