Virgil van Dijk has earned huge praise from Vincent Kompany, with the Man City legend naming him the best defender in Premier League history.
Van Dijk has spent the past 18 months receiving glowing reviews, during an immaculate spell at Liverpool.
The general consensus when he joined from Southampton was that the Reds were signing a world-class centre-back, but few saw him reaching his current heights and arguably doubling his £75 million price tag.
He inspired Liverpool to Champions League glory last season, as well as helping them reach 97 points in the league—on a personal note, he looks nailed on to win the Ballon d’Or in December.
Now, Kompany has paid Van Dijk an enormous compliment ahead of the Belgian’s testimonial on Wednesday, which James Milner is taking part in.
When asked who the Premier League‘s greatest defender of all time is, Kompany went for Liverpool’s No. 4, with the former City captain hailing his impact even though he’s not been around for as long as others.
“I would bring it back to Virgil van Dijk,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“He’s not been on the scene as long as Terry, Ferdinand who have been around for a long time but the signs he’s shown in the last few years [are that he is better].
“He’s shown if he had been around longer he’d have been at the top for a long time.
“The Liverpool before Van Dijk and after are a completely different setup. I’ll give him that one.”
City fans aren’t exactly a difficult bunch to rile at the best of times and Kompany will have effectively angered a section of his own supporters.
Some will agree with his comments and others won’t, such is the subjective nature of modern football, but Van Dijk definitely belongs in the conversation.
He is yet to perform at the very top for a period of years compared to the likes of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Kompany himself, but it could be argued that none of them ever reached his level.
If the 28-year-old can continue to perform so immaculately over the next four or five years, his place at the top of the standings—and as one of the greatest centre-backs of all time—will be indisputable.