Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero says Liverpool centre-half Virgil van Dijk‘s composure is a key attribute which makes him one of the best defenders in the world.
Asked about the Dutch international in an interview, Aguero described why the centre-back is so difficult to play against as a forward:
“We all know Van Dijk is one of the best centre-backs in the world. He’s strong, tall, has an incredible body. He’s very strong face to face, he plays with his body. Also, given he is so tall, he has those long legs.”
“It looks like he isn’t fast but he is, because of his long legs – he can reach everywhere. Two steps from him are 50 for me! What I like the most is the way he is so smart when defending. He’s not anxious when marking, he’s very careful and patient. That makes it difficult for many strikers.”
“In my case, I’m pretty fast and I like to dribble, so I need the defender to come. But if he holds he can wait for help from another defender. He’s very good at this.”
As one of the top strikers in the world himself, Aguero will know what it takes to get the best of opposition defenders, and his compliments are certainly a lot more noteworthy because of that.
Van Dijk has a number of unique traits which make him a world-class defender. Not only is he composed, as Aguero mentions, but he is physically strong, good in the air and quick.
Combined with the leadership qualities and the winning mentality he possesses, Liverpool did exceptionally well to ensure he made the move to Anfield two and a half years ago. The £75m was certainly money well spent.