Virgil van Dijk stands tall as Premier League's most dominant player

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk is statistically the most dominant player in the Premier League right now.

Virgil van Dijk had, by his own admission, a sub-standard season last time out. But maybe that wasn't too surprising.

People have questioned the Dutchman ever since his awful knee injury in October 2020. That ruled him out for almost a year and on his return, Van Dijk didn't seem quite the same. Still an elite player, unquestionably, but not at the height he once was.

And so when Liverpool struggled as a whole in 2022/23, Van Dijk did look a little short. Again, we're talking 'short' of his impeccable peak when he was arguably the finest defender the Premier League has seen and pretty undoubtedly the best in the world.

That peak saw him dominate every forward he came up against. Bigger, faster, stronger; winning in the air, on the deck, in behind. Everything.

Stats show that Van Dijk might just be moving back towards that level, though. Squawka data has him topping the Premier League for duels by quite some way, in fact.

Liverpool's captain has won 80 per cent of his duels - an unreal percentage. For context, second-placed Levi Colwill has won 'just' 72.7 percent. In fact, there isn't as much as a two per cent gap between any other placing in the standing, let alone seven per cent.

And to top it off, there's that classic Van Dijk stat - no one has dribbled past him. That's almost to be expected, of course, as he's turned that into his hallmark.

But altogether, it shows that the Liverpool captain is at the level of dominance you want from him. It's something for the Reds to build on, certainly, as they try to click together their next perfect team.

All that's really missing is an out-and-out defensive midfielder to put in front of Van Dijk. Once Liverpool have that again, we could well see a return to the defensive levels they had back in 2019/20.

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