Liverpool legend delivers verdict on Virgin van Dijk ahead of 2017 January transfer window

Liverpool legend Phil Thompson believes Jose Fonte is a better defender than Virgil van Dijk

Phil Thompson believes Southampton captain Jose Fonte is still a better defender than Netherlands international Virgil van Dijk.

Southampton manager Claude Peul has attempted to deter interest in the Dutch centre-half in recent weeks amid reported interest from Liverpool and Manchester United.

In November, Saints legend Matt Le Tissier warned potential suitors that Van Dijk would cost in the region of £40m after the defender’s impressive performances at St Mary’s.

Liverpool have already conceded 20 times in 15 Premier League games this season, with Dejan Lovren currently nursing an injury problem.

Speaking to Sky Sports about Van Dijk amid speculation linking the Southampton star with a move to Anfield, Thompson said:

“They’ve played him [Maya Yoshida] everywhere trying to find a position for him and you’ve got Jose Fonte [on the bench].

“I’ll tell you now that he has had his head turned at the Euros and he had a very good Euros.

“He’s still the captain of that club and he’s still by far the best centre-half.”

He added: “Van Dijk will become a top class centre-back.”

Liverpool finished in eighth place in the Premier League table last season after Klopp was appointed as Brendan Rodgers’ successor back in October 2015.

The Merseyside outfit signed seven players in the summer transfer window, including two centre-halves.

Joel Matip completed a free transfer from German side Schalke before Estonia international Ragnar Klavan swapped Augsburg for Liverpool.

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