"The best defender" - Garth Crooks names Virgil van Dijk in his Team of the Season

Pundit Garth Crooks has named Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk in his Premier League Team of the Season.

The Dutchman had a very good 2021-22 top-flight campaign. Van Dijk averaged a WhoScored player rating of 7.18 across the season (34 appearances).

In other words, the 30-year-old was a key reason why Liverpool only conceded 26 goals in 38 Premier League fixtures.

Therefore, Crooks has given Van Dijk the credit that he deserves.

“He looks immaculate on the pitch and plays in the same manner. He is without doubt the best defender on the planet – and without him, Liverpool wouldn’t have had anywhere near the success they have had,” he told BBC Sport after he named the centre-back in his Premier League Team of the Season, as cited by the Liverpool Echo.

“But that is part of the genius of Jurgen Klopp. Having the ability to spot what your team need, and when they need it, is a key element of management. It also has to be said that Van Dijk wasn’t world-class when he arrived at Anfield but under the careful stewardship of Klopp and his coaching staff, he has turned into something very special.

“The mere fact they’ve held on to him for so long is also a testament to an adoring Anfield crowd who appreciate the jewel in the crown.”

Anfield Watch Verdict

Van Dijk is the best centre-back Liverpool have had in a very long time. Nothing fazes the Dutchman when he is out on the pitch.

Van Dijk makes the game of football look so easy, which is not an easy thing to do when you're up against some quality Premier League forwards.

The 30-year-old's contract expires in the summer of 2025.

With that being the case, the Anfield faithful will be able to sit back and watch Van Dijk represent the club for at least a few more years.

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