Alan Shearer: Liverpool FC star has become the leader the Reds needed
Alan Shearer talks up Virgil van Dijk's importance to the Liverpool FC team this season
Alan Shearer has suggested Virgil van Dijk can emulate the stability that Alan Hansen and Phil Thompson provided Liverpool FC when they won a glut of league titles in the pre-Premier League era.
Van Dijk has become possibly the most dominant centre-half in the country since January, after questions were raised over whether he could reproduce performances at St. Mary’s which got him his mover to Liverpool FC in January.
Shearer believes van Dijk is the centre-half Liverpool FC have needed if they wish to finally return to their perch at the top of English football.
“Virgil van Dijk, bought for £75m in January, is starting to look like the leader and centre-back that Liverpool have been crying out for,” he told The Sun.
“If he continues to improve, his influence will grow and grow.
“It was on the solid foundations of Alan Hansen and Phil Thompson that much of the club’s success was built back in the 80s.”
Van Dijk began his professional career at Groningen in his native Netherlands before he switched to Celtic in 2013. He spent two years at Celtic Park, before spending two-and-a-half seasons at Southampton.
His move to Liverpool FC was met with scepticism, but after a last-minute winning-goal against arch-rivals Everton on his debut, he has not looked back.
He has been dominant in the centre of Liverpool FC’s defence and this season, alongside 21-year-old England international defender Joe Gomez, has been part of a defence which has been so lean as to only concede one goal – from a goalkeeping error.
Shearer believes that he could go on to exert so much influence on his side they could finally end their 30-year top-tier title drought.