Sky Sports pundit: Why Liverpool FC star deserves PFA award ahead of Hazard
Charlie Nicholas has been impressed with Virgil van Dijk's consistent performances for Liverpool FC this season
Charlie Nicholas believes Virgil van Dijk is more deserving of the PFA player of the year award than Eden Hazard.
The Liverpool FC centre-half has helped the Merseyside outfit challenge defending champions Manchester City in the title race.
Van Dijk has been ever present in Jurgen Klopp’s back four to continue to marshal their defence despite mounting injury problems.
The Merseyside outfit have managed to keep 14 clean sheets in the current campaign after winning to nil against Bournemouth last time out.
In fact, Liverpool FC have conceded less goals than any other Premier League team this term after letting in just 15 goals in 26 outings.
Klopp’s defence have been transformed from a leaky and unreliable back four to a cohesive unit since Van Dijk’s arrival in a £75m deal.
Hazard, meanwhile, is on course to finish with his best return for a Premier League season after 12 goals and 10 assists in 25 league games.
However, the Belgium international hasn’t been able to keep Chelsea FC in the top four after the Blues dropped to sixth spot following last weekend’s 6-0 loss at Manchester City.
Sky Sports pundit Nicholas explained why Van Dijk is leading Hazard in the race to be crowned the PFA player of the year.
“Virgil van Dijk is definitely in the three because of his contribution to Liverpool,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.
“I am looking at City players who are being prominent, Raheem Sterling and Eden Hazard (for Chelsea) have both been very prominent, but not as consistent as you would like.”
Nicholas added: “This is why I am edging towards Van Dijk. He is smooth and stylish, the natural ingredients of a midfield player.
“It normally goes to the Premier League-winning side. Sterling perhaps, the way he has developed his game, but other than that you are starting to stretch it.”
Van Dijk became the most expensive defender in the world after the Dutch centre-half completed a move to Liverpool FC from Southampton in January 2018.