Jarell Quansah reacts to fans comparing him to Liverpool skipper Virgil van Dijk

Jarell Quansah has reacted to fans and onlookers comparing his playstyle to that of Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk.

Quansah has broken into the Liverpool side this season, having made 25 appearances since his senior Premier League debut against Newcastle United in August.

It's been easy for fans to forget that the England U21 international is still only a novice in the men's game, with Quansah having exuded confidence and composure every time he's stepped on the field.

Quansah attributes his fantastic start to life in Liverpool's first team to defensive partner and leader Van Dijk - a player who he has drawn many comparisons to due to their similar styles.

The 20-year-old takes such suggestions as ‘a massive compliment’ and has explained how he is trying to learn everything he can from playing alongside Van Dijk.

“I think what he has been doing over the past five or 10 years has been unrivalled, especially in the Premier League,” Quansah told the club's website.

“He’s had flawless seasons, he’s been a vital part of what Liverpool’s identity has been. So to play next to him is so good and I can learn so much from him.

“There’s times where he’s constructive and just says it how it is and tells me what I need to improve on, and there’s times where, especially on the pitch because the crowd’s loud, he needs to shout and make examples in different ways.

“You can’t go much wrong if you just listen to what he’s saying! He’s always in your ear, always talking, which is so helpful.”

Jeremy Doku of Man City and Jarell Quansah of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield, Liverpool, England on 10 March 2024. Copyright: xStevenxHalliwellx PMI-6143-0020

Quansah showed signs of what was to come while on loan at Bristol Rovers last season - his first glimpse at senior men's football of his career.

That said, little would have predicted that the defender would become a regular fixture on the Liverpool team sheet just months after returning from the South West, becoming the premier understudy to the likes of Van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate.

He added: “It’s been a lot of games, a surprise from what I expected really – it’s exceeded all expectations, to say the least.

“I probably haven’t had a ‘pinch myself’ moment – I think for me it’s just all about playing football, and it’s what I’ve been doing since I was five.

“Although the level has increased, it’s just what I’ve been doing and what I enjoy. I’ve been striving for it and waiting for the opportunity and I’m thankful it’s come.

“When you’re younger you have all these aspirations, sometimes stupid aspirations of being the best player in the world.

“I think just being able to be in the position I’m in at the minute and learn from some of the best managers and players in the world hopefully puts me in good stead for the future. That is the goal, to be a starting centre-back for Liverpool and be in contention for England.

“I’m just learning the whole time. Hopefully in the summer I’ll get that moment where I’ll be like, ‘It’s been a good year-and-a-half’.

“But I’m not the finished product. I’m not really reflecting on my career and thinking how good I’ve been because I can be so much better.”

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