Virgil van Dijk officially more dominant than ever, setting new Premier League best

Virgil van Dijk is statistically more dominant in the Premier League than he's ever been. The Liverpool captain is far from finished.

Remember when the dialogue was that Virgil van Dijk was past it, on his way winding down, and never recovering his pre-injury form? You likely do as you only have to go back six months.

Van Dijk did admittedly recognise that he wasn't at his best last season, believing he'd been under par. That is certainly not the case this season.

The Dutchman, made Liverpool captain in the summer, has completely rebounded in 2023/24. That was seen as clear as day against Burnley on Boxing Day as Van Dijk put in a dominant performance at Turf Moor.

He completed 95 passes (match-high) at a 94 per cent success rate (match-high), made seven clearances (match-high), won seven aerial duels (second-most) and at a 100 per cent success rate (match-high).

Those latter two stats are particularly notable, as Squawka points out.

Van Dijk has won more aerial duels than any other player this season, with 81. Ridiculously, he's done that while also boasting the highest success rate, too - 81.8 per cent.

This is a player who goes up for an incredible number of duels, never backs down from them, and still wins them at a better rate than anyone. But it gets even better.

Van Dijk's current rate of 81.8 per cent is the highest of any Premier League player since 2016/17. The Liverpool captain actually featured three times in the top six since then, such is his pedigree, but this would push Harry Maguire's best season (2018/19) into second place.

Van Dijk is as dominant in the air as ever, then, while also captaining the team at the top of the Premier League table right now. He's passing as well as ever, tackling as well as ever, and it quite plainly the best centre-back in the world once again.

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