BBC Sport pundit: What’s impressed most about Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool FC
BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson heaps praise on Virgil van Dijk's performances at Liverpool FC this season
Mark Lawrenson believes that Virgil van Dijk deserves credit for maintaining his incredible performances at Liverpool FC despite having three different centre-half partners this season.
The Netherlands international has been one of the standout players in the Premier League this season alongside Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling and Liverpool FC forward Sadio Mane.
Van Dijk has barely put a foot wrong in the heart of the Liverpool FC team to help Jurgen Klopp’s side challenge for the Premier League title.
The Reds have the best defensive record in the Premier League this term ahead of defending champions Manchester City.
Van Dijk had managed to marshal the Liverpool FC defence and keep 18 clean sheets in 34 games ahead of Sunday’s trip to Cardiff City.
His performances are all the more remarkable given that Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip have all partnered Van Dijk for spells this term.
Gomez started the season as Van Dijk’s first-choice partner at the back, while Matip has impressed in the second half of the season.
Former Liverpool FC defender Lawrenson believes Van Dijk deserves credit for being able to adapt to the style of different players alongside him.
“It is no wonder that the top two teams are so far ahead in every way, because they have had the stand-out individuals too,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.
“We know about Van Dijk’s ability and his leadership but the most impressive thing is that he has played with a succession of different centre-back partners this season: Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and even Fabinho.
“Has it affected the team? No, because it is all about him. Honestly, he is so good, he is at that moment where John Terry and Tony Adams were at their peak – where you can play anybody with them and it doesn’t make any difference whatsoever.”
Liverpool FC will take on La Liga giants FC Barcelona for a place in the Champions League final after a 6-1 aggregate victory over FC Porto in the last eight.