Virgil van Dijk 'best in the world' says Paul Merson

Paul Merson has tipped Virgil van Dijk for the Premier League Player of the Year Award

Virgil van Dijk has been one of the Reds' outstanding performers this season, recording 16 clean sheets and conceding just 15 goals in 29 outings as the Anfield club pushes for a first Premier League title after 29 years drought.

He has already emerged a nominee for the PFA Player of the Year Award with his impressive stats, and Merson think the 27-year-old deserves the prize, comparing him to Alan Hansen and joking that his kit does not need cleaning after a game.

When asked if the Dutch skipper will win the prize, Merson answered: "Yes, in my opinion. He's unbelievable. He's so good, it's scary. He's the best in the world, and I think by a long way, as a defensive centre-half.

"Some players just see Van Dijk and kick the ball away. I saw Theo Walcott last week, he went down the right, Van Dijk comes across, and he thinks: 'Uh oh…' and kicks the ball away. Normally, Theo would try to take someone on with his pace.

"I can't talk highly enough of him. He's Alan Hansen. You can put his kit back in the skip for next week, you don't even have to wash it, he can wear it again. He's absolutely different class."

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