Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is the club’s most “important” player according to former centre-back Sami Hyypia.
The Premier League season has reached its final stretch as the Reds try and get their hands on their first league title since 1990.
How important is Van Dijk? Five things you need to know…
- Liverpool signed Van Dijk from Southampton in January 2018 for a transfer fee of £75m.
- The Dutchman scored a match-winning goal on his debut against arch-rivals Everton in the FA Cup.
- Since then, Van Dijk has made 60 appearances for the Reds, scoring five goals.
- This season, the Reds have conceded the least numbers of goals in the Premier League, with just 18 goals in 31 games.
- Liverpool had conceded 16 more goals by this point last season and were 21 points behind eventual league winners Manchester City.
Van Dijk’s form for Liverpool this season has been an influential factor in their transformation from top-four challengers to Premier League title contenders.
Former Liverpool and Finland centre-back Hyypia believes that despite the wealth of talent that club boss Jurgen Klopp has at his disposal, Van Dijk is the key man as the Reds look clinch a first ever Premier League title.
He said: “Alisson came in the summer and we made some good signings in the midfield as well, but I think Virgil van Dijk is the most important player for the team.
“He makes the other players play better and he gives a lot of confidence to the others as well. He’s such a good player.”
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Down to the wire
Speaking after the Liverpool Legends match against Milan Glorie at Anfield, Hyypia spoke further about the club’s title chances.
Hyypia believes that City – who are the reigning Premier League champions – are unlikely to lose many games in the final run-in, meaning that Liverpool will need to be on top form if they are to get their hands on the trophy by the end of the campaign.
He continued: “It’s going to be an exciting end to the season.
“I don’t think City are going to drop many points and we can’t [afford to] drop many points either, so I think it’s going to go till the last game.
“That would be great to fight right until the end and I’m hoping we are going to do it this year.”