'I couldn't play with him now' - Man City legend's backhanded Van Dijk compliment

Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany has taken a cheeky dig at Virgil van Dijk, suggesting the Liverpool defender is past his best. 

Van Dijk, 32, is one of the greatest defenders of the Premier League era and was named by Kompany as his dream defensive partner in an interview conducted by Sky Sports in recent days. 

The Belgian was tasked with naming his dream seven-a-side team, with Van Dijk ultimately making the cut alongside Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne, Carlos Tevez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Kompany himself. 

However, he added that it would have to be a previous version of Van Dijk as he intimated that the Dutchman doesn’t do his fair share of running these days. 

That is an odd comment considering Van Dijk has AGAIN been voted among the best players in England with another Premier League player of the year nomination.

Despite the dig, he paid a warm tribute to the £75 million defender, who has won the Champions League, Premier League and Club World Cup among other honours during his time at Anfield. 

“I’d have to play with Virgil, I think we would’ve been a good pairing,” the Burnley manager told Sky Sports. “The older version of Virgil, now I couldn't play with him because I'd have to do all the running but the younger version of him, when he could have done the running for me. 

“I've got age, I'm older than him so I get to say that. 

“His understanding of the game and and he's able to back it up with the execution as well, but his understanding of the game, his leadership, his all round profile as a defender, it's very rare to have very few weaknesses.”

Van Dijk has one year left on his Liverpool contract with his current deal expiring in 2025. It remains to be seen whether the legendary defender will sign a new one, amid reported transfer interest from Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Al-Qadsiah of Saudi Arabia. 

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