Virgil van Dijk is the “best centre-back Liverpool have had since Alan Hansen,” according to Graeme Souness.
Liverpool completed a world-record £75million move for Van Dijk on January 1, with the defender scoring on his debut in the Merseyside derby in the FA Cup third round.
The Dutchman is reportedly out of the club’s clash with Manchester City with a tight hamstring however.
But Souness feels Liverpool now have their best centre-back since the legendary Hansen, who departed in 1991.
“Virgil van Dijk is the best centre-back Liverpool have had since Alan Hansen, but the 26-year-old Holland international is better in the air than Alan was,” Souness told The Times.
“There’s an argument that signing him for £75m from Southampton and selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £142m has already made Jurgen Klopp’s side stronger.
“Liverpool are a free-scoring side, second only to Manchester City — whom they face at Anfield this afternoon — on Premier League goals scored so far, but they need to be better defensively to win trophies. I felt they couldn’t nick games, but they did so against Everton in the FA Cup last week, with Van Dijk heading the winner on his debut. I can see them being able to do that more now, so they don’t have to be dominating and playing in the opposition’s half to win.
“Van Dijk will make them more solid. I believed he would come down from Celtic and would be too casual and get caught out in England, but he’s made it look easy, the same way he did in Scotland. That’s a mark of how good he is.
“He’s never extended, never seems to be running flat out in a race with somebody, never seems to be using all his strength when nudging somebody off the ball and never seems to be under pressure when making passes.
“He always plays within himself, which is a great sign. He has always got another yard or gear to find, and that’s why he reminds me of Alan.”