According to Watford striker Troy Deeney, there’s one defender in the Premier League he hates facing more than any other, and that one defender is Liverpool’s own towering Dutch colossus, Virgil van Dijk. And also he smells nice. According to Deeney.
With Liverpool having the best defensive record in the Premier League ever since Van Dijk arrived back at the start of January, it’s hard to argue with the suggestion he just might be the best centre half in the league. And he does look like he might smell nice.
“I’ve said it many times, I hate him,” Deeney told the BBC this week. “I hate going up against him. He’s too big, too strong, too quick, too good on the ball, loves fighting, a good head of hair. It smells lovely! When he runs past you, it’s like, ‘I can’t catch you, but...’”
It’s not just Van Dijk he’s impressed with at Liverpool, either, with young Joe Gomez having also caught his eye for his power, pace, and also his surprising poise at just 21 years of age—a point at which very few centre halves are able to excel at a top club.
“I’ve said for a very long time that I’ve got a massive respect for Joe Gomez,” he added. “He could be England’s centre half for the next 15 years. He’s just a beast of a player and playing next to someone like Van Dijk, he is only going to get better.”
If he does, and the signs at least do point to that being very likely ,between him and Van Dijk the club could end up with the best centre back pairing in the league—not to mention one of its top goalkeepers and fullback pairings—for a long time to come.
Add in Dejan Lovren and Joël Matip and, at least when everyone’s fit, they might already have the best, deepest group at the position in the Premier League—and maybe even the best, deepest defence.