Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk has responded to claims he is the best defender in the world and stated he ‘earned’ his transfer to Anfield.
Van Dijk came through Willem’s academy in his native Holland before joining Groningen U21s in 2010. After becoming a member of their first team, he made 66 appearances and hit seven goals.
The centre-back’s big break in the UK came in 2013 when he joined Scottish giants Celtic. Two years later, Van Dijk got his first taste of the Premier League by signing for Southampton in a £13million deal.
The 30-year-old put in some solid performances on the south coast to earn a £75m switch to Liverpool in January 2018.
That fee saw him become the world’s most expensive defender, although the record was broken the following year by Harry Maguire’s transfer to Manchester United.
Van Dijk, along with goalkeeper Alisson, has helped to transform the Liverpool backline and make the Reds serious contenders in several competitions.
Virgil van Dijk plays huge role in Liverpool success
They won the Champions League in 2018-19 and ended their long wait for a Premier League title the following campaign.
This term, Jurgen Klopp’s men won the Carabao Cup by beating Chelsea on penalties. Of course, they are still in the hunt for the quadruple, too.
Van Dijk returned from a serious ACL injury ahead of the current season and has picked up where he left off. Once again, he is up there as one of Liverpool’s most important stars.
During a recent interview with Dutch outlet Ziggo Sport (via Sport Witness), the 46-cap international was asked if he is the best defender in the world.
He remained humble but also said he deserved his transfer from the Saints to Liverpool four years ago.
“You should always keep faith in yourself,” Van Dijk responded. “I don’t want to say I’m the best defender in the world. But I do think I’ve earned the move to Liverpool.
“I’ve always managed to keep a very consistent level. That’s the hardest thing there is. You always want to play at least a six.
“Especially because you play so many games, that’s hard, but I’m glad I’ve been able to do that for the past four seasons.”