It’s such a no brainer, it not really even news: were Liverpool to win their maiden Premier League title at the 29th time of asking, Virgil Van Dijk would be the runaway PFA Player of the Year. That he would be the first defender to do so since John Terry in the 2004-05 season is not surprising when you look at the impact the world’s most expensive defender has had in marshalling the league’s best defense.
Liverpool teammate, Andy Robertson, for one, is also of the opinion that the Dutchman should beat out fellow competitors such as Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Tottenham’s Son Heung-min for English football’s highest individual honor.
”If the season ended tonight, I would give him it personally,” the Scotland captain said.
”There’s still 10 games to go and somebody can step up from another team but Virgil can take it to a whole new level, I reckon.
”The attacking players are usually in the running because they take all the goals and the headlines but this season Virgil has been fantastic and he’s getting all the plaudits that he deserved.
This past December, the 27-year-old became the first defender to be named Premier League Player of the Month since Jan Vertonghen did it six years ago. With his side conceding a miserly 15 goals and boasting 16 clean sheets, both league bests, over 28 games so far this season, the plaudits around Van Dijk’s quality and leadership at the back have only grown as the campaign has gone on. Robertson insists however that the Dutch colossus hasn’t allowed the noise among the commentators to distract him however:
”I don’t think he’ll be focusing on that, he’ll be focusing on the team. It’s always nice to get end-of-season awards and I’m sure he’ll be in the running. It will be close if he doesn’t win it.
”He’s so consistent as well. If he puts the performances as he has done, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t have that trophy.
”He makes my life easier, that’s for sure,” the full back continue. “To have him next to me it makes everything so much easier.
”When somebody is running at you and you know Virgil is inside—he’s rarely out of position, if ever.
”For me, he’s the best centre-back just now in the world. That’s the way he’s playing and the confidence he’s got—and he’s still young enough that he can get even better.”
While the prospect of Virgil Van Dijk getting even better is a scary one, Liverpool fans will be more than willing to face up to that particular concern, particularly as his Reds side approach the pointy edge of a thrilling campaign.