The Netherlands international has been a key member of Jurgen Klopp’s team since the German head coach spent £75m on Van Dijk in the 2018 January transfer window.
The 27-year-old has managed to transform the Liverpool FC back four into one of the best defensive units in the Premier League with help from summer signing Alisson Becker.
Liverpool FC have an incredible record after conceding just 15 goals in 26 games in the current top-flight campaign.
Not only has Van Dijk improved Liverpool FC’s back four, but the ex-Celtic star has helped to improve their game management.
The club record signing has been a calming influence on the Liverpool FC team as they go toe-to-toe with Manchester City in the title race.
Discussing his PFA player of the year candidates, Merson explained why he thinks Van Dijk should be one of the leading contenders alongside Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho.
“Virgil van Dijk, he has been outstanding and played nearly every minute of every Premier League game for Liverpool so far this season,” Merson told Sky Sports. “He has been very, very good.
“Fernandinho and Van Dijk have been the two standout players in the league this season, which is weird – one is a defensive midfielder, the other a defender, in such an exciting league.
“And if you do not have one of them, you are not winning anything this season.”
Merson also gave honourable mentions to Liverpool FC striker Mohamed Salah and Tottenham forward Son Heung-min.
Merson added: “Heung-Min Son has been very good, Mohamed Salah has not been like he was last year, but he is still top scorer in the Premier League, which is a massive feat.”
Liverpool FC will return to Premier League action on Sunday 24 February when the Reds make the trip to Manchester United.
Manchester City are ahead of Liverpool FC on goal difference but have played one game more than Klopp’s side.
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