​Former Manchester Metropolis midfielder Nigel de Jong has praised his Dutch compatriot Virgil van Dijk for his affect on Liverpool’s workforce throughout his first 12 months on the membership.

The present Al Ahli midfielder has additionally claimed he’s shocked by how a lot the defender has improved since transferring to Anfield in January final 12 months for £75m.

Van Dijk made his 50th look for the Reds throughout Saturday’s victory away at ​Brighton within the Premier League. The 1-Zero victory additionally noticed Liverpool full their 23rd clear sheet within the 50 video games of which the Dutchman has featured of their aspect.

Virgil van Dijk

De Jong, who received a Premier League title with Liverpool’s title rivals ​Manchester City, has lauded the position of Virgil van Dijk in Liverpool establishing a seven level lead over the Residents, while additionally claiming that the central defender has come a good distance from his days at Celtic and ​Southampton.

Talking to beIN sports activities (through Inside Futbol) De Jong was requested whether or not he was shocked by Van Dijk’s performances: “I might like to say ‘No’, however ‘Sure’, I’m sort of shocked.

Virgil van Dijk

“I do know him as a participant from the nationwide workforce and in addition as a participant he was at Celtic, however in the event you see how composed he’s proper now, I don’t suppose lots of people in Holland would say sure, I’ve seen that occuring.

“He’s an incredible drive for ​Liverpool and by far their chief on the pitch in the case of the defence, however (additionally) I feel all around the pitch.”

The affect of Van Dijk is most seen when evaluating Liverpool’s defensive statistics from this season to the identical stage of final season. After 22 video games in the course of the 2017/18 season, Liverpool had conceded 25 targets after 22 video games, in comparison with simply ten this marketing campaign.

Liverpool will hope to keep up their blistering tempo on the high of the Premier League as they tackle Crystal Palace on Saturday at Anfield. 

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