Van Dijk: Still The Best in 2023 and Ever

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The Re-Emergence of a Football Titan

Virgil van Dijk: Ending the Debate with Stellar Performances

Last year was a serious drop by his standards but that now seems a distant memory. As the 2023/24 football season progresses, the debates around the best centre back in the world are heating up with nonsense takes such as Saliba, Gabriel and others coming into the mix. Yet, the captain continues to end the debate with each passing game, no matter what gets said. The Dutch international, with his towering presence, passing range and unparalleled tactical acumen, has once again positioned himself at the pinnacle of world football. Just keep it up Virgil.

Van Dijk: The Defensive Anchor of Liverpool

Van Dijk’s contribution to Liverpool cannot be overstated. In a season where Liverpool’s defence has been under constant scrutiny, The 32 year old has been the leader, linchpin, the constant in an ever rotating back-line. His key statistics from the season paint a picture of a defender at the peak of his powers: his non-penalty goals (72nd percentile), shots total (93rd percentile), and assists (94th percentile) place him in the upper echelons of defenders across Europe’s top leagues as an attacking force. Moreover, his ability to read the game is reflected in his percentile for shot-creating actions (84th percentile) and successful aerial duels (97th percentile), making him a formidable opponent in both boxes. A beast in every sense.

The Essence of Consistency: Van Dijk’s Philosophy

Consistency, as van Dijk himself puts it, is the key. “Consistency is the most difficult thing in football. We are in December, there are still so many games to play. We have to keep going and keep the consistency that brings us success” he said, and his performances reflect just that. Van Dijk’s individual brilliance has shone through this campaign and the likes of Quansah have the perfect mentor at hand. With Liverpool’s aspirations high, he embodies the resilience required to chase glory that Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp will need to define this season as successful.

More Than Just a Defender: Van Dijk’s Offensive Impact

Furthermore, his impact is not just limited to defence. Van Dijk’s distribution from the back is a key component of Liverpool’s attacking prowess, enabling swift transitions and setting the tempo for their offensive forays. His passing completion (90.9th percentile) and passes attempted (95th percentile) showcase his role as a deep-lying playmaker, initiating attacks from the heart of defence. Those raking diagonals to Salah on the right-side have made their reappearance and we’ve all lost count of how many times he wins the first header in the box. If only the Dutch loved him like they really should.

The Future of Liverpool’s Defensive Titan

Strangely and similarly to the likes of Trent and Salah, the former Southampton man will only have a year left to go in the summer. With the likes of Thiago Silva still playing at 39 and with the still existent after burners seeing the likes of Mbuemo simply dismissed, surely a renewal is inevitable. No-one even wants to counter the other side. Liverpool have the best defender in the world on their books, an FIFA World Pro XI 2023 nominee and he’s been at his best in the 23/24 season to date. It sounds simple, but just keep it up Virgil lad. For the love of Christ, please stay fit too!

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