Defender receives highest praise from former Reds legend who recognised his strengths immediately: Former Red Sami Hyypia has been singing the praises of Virgil van Dijk

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Former Liverpool and Finland centre-back Sami Hyypia believes The Reds acquired a true “leader” when signing Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in January 2018.

Hyypia became a Reds legend himself during his ten-year spell at the club when he formed formidable partnerships at the back, first beside Stephane Henchoz and then with Jamie Carragher.

Liverpool’s old number 4 was speaking to Press Association Sport when he commented on Van Dijk’s immediately apparent qualities after he arrived at Anfield.

Hyypia said:

“I saw it right away when he came that he would be a very important part of the team.

“Straightaway he was organising the defence, he was the leader at the back, and as time has gone on he is even more important. He gives confidence to the players and makes many other players play better.”

Hyypia admitted it would be a pleasure to have had the opportunity to partner Van Dijk in defence as he sees him as an “ultimate centre-back.”

“It is very difficult to find a weakness. He is an ultimate centre-back and it would be a pleasure to play alongside him he is so good.

“He is so calm on the ball, he never seems in a hurry and he trusts his skills on the ball. It was the right decision [to sign him] because he is so important for the team, it doesn’t matter how much he cost.”

Jurgen Klopp’s men will certainly miss the Dutch international against FC Bayern this Tuesday night but at least Van Dijk will be back from his suspension for the return fixture in the Allianz Arena.

Check out our predicted lineup for the FC Bayern game here.

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