This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 6 °C Monday 17 February, 2020

Van Dijk's former boss believes he can become the world's best defender

Claude Puel coached Liverpool’s new centre-back during their time together at Southampton.

Virgil Van Dijk, who joins Liverpool on 1 January.
Virgil Van Dijk, who joins Liverpool on 1 January.

VIRGIL VAN DIJK can become the best defender in the world following his big-money move to Liverpool, according to Leicester City manager Claude Puel.

The Reds announced on Wednesday that they had agreed to sign Van Dijk, 26, from Southampton for £75 million on 1 January — a deal which will make him the most expensive defender of all time.

Puel worked with Van Dijk during their time together at Southampton last season, handing the Dutchman the captain’s armband as the club finished eighth in the Premier League and reached the EFL Cup final.

And the Leicester boss is adamant Liverpool have pulled off a big coup by landing Van Dijk, who he believes can establish himself as the best in the world in his position.

Speaking ahead of his side’s trip to Liverpool on Saturday, Puel said: “He is one of the best defenders in the world and he has all the qualities to become the best. It is fantastic for Liverpool.

“He can play in different good teams and it is a good reward for him. At the beginning of the season it was difficult for him because he wanted to join another club but now he will find his level. I am happy for him, and happy he can’t play against us!

“Of course I don’t know if it is the right price but for me he is a fantastic player, fantastic defender. I had him for six months and then for the last six months he was injured.

“In those first six months he made progress and developed his play. He has all the qualities. He is powerful, has pace and he is comfortable on the ball. He is tall and also has a strong character and personality.”

‘We were all treated badly’ – Ronaldo claims Barca ‘always had issues with Brazilian players’

The story of how Germany’s 500-goal sensation came out of retirement to score at Turner’s Cross

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

The42 Team

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel