Virgil van Dijk believes international teammate Nathan Ake “has the quality” to play at the highest level.
Netherlands compatriots Van Dijk and Ake locked horns on Saturday as Liverpool hosted Bournemouth.
The Reds won 2-1 at Anfield, with Van Dijk assisting Sadio Mane’s decisive goal, while Ake fared well at the heart of the visiting defence.
The 25-year-old was subject to interest from Arsenal and former club Chelsea in January, with Tottenham and Leicester known to have monitored his developments in the past.
Van Dijk has no doubt that Ake could make it at that level, but warned that “he has to have more than just the quality these days”.
“First of all, he’s a fantastic guy,” he told the Daily Echo.
“I speak with him quite a bit at the national team and I think he’s a fantastic player as well.
“On Saturday he showed with clearances and I think he stepped up when he had the armband as well. It’s just good to see that he’s improving.
“I don’t know what might happen with him in the future with Bournemouth, you just have to stay grounded – but I am not worried about that at all.
“He has the quality but he has to have more than just the quality these days. But he’s still young, he’s improving and you never know what decision might happen.
“It’s all dependent on how the season will end for Bournemouth, too – but I am very positive about him. He’s a fantastic guy and player as well.”
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