Former Arsenal Freddie Ljungberg hails Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk as one of the best in the Premier League currently.
Speaking with Jamie Carragher on Viaplay, Ljungberg praised the Dutch international and called him a increasingly unique type of player. The Arsenal legend also stated that Van Dijk has some unique traits, which are kind of missing in today’s football, specially as a centre-back.
Liverpool signed Van Dijk from Southampton in the 2017/18 January transfer for a transfer fee of £75 million. The Dutchman has been exceptional under Jurgen Klopp and won all trophies with Liverpool in last six campaigns.
However, the 32-year-old have been struggling with off-form due to an injury. But he’s now back to his very best in this current campaign.
Ljungberg claims Van Dijk’s big stature and physicality is quite rare in today’s football. He claims that modern cente-backs are smaller and easier to bully.
Former Arsenal man praised Van Dijk and said :-
“I feel sometimes, since we played, I felt centre-backs then were a bit bigger, like Sol Campbell.
“You couldn’t really bully the centre-backs. Lately, if you’re Haaland and you have the size, you can bully them a little bit. They’re not as big any more.
“But then you have a Van Dijk, he has a presence, he’s big and strong. Is that something that sets him apart a little bit and we’re missing in today’s football?”
Carragher claims centre-back’s role have changed with time
While discussing with Ljungberg, Jamie Carragher claims centre-back’s role have changed with time. He said :-
“When you think of a Tony Adams, Sol Campbell, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, some of the best in the Premier League, they didn’t have to receive the ball off the goalkeeper in the six-yard box.
“They didn’t have to defend on the halfway line with teams pressing.
“I think now, playing centre-back is the most difficult position to play on a pitch. You’re supposed to have the technical ability of a midfield player, and the pace to go with.”
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