Jose Mourinho says calling Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk best defender in the world would be ‘unfair’

Callum Rice-Coates
The Independent
Jose Mourinho has lauded Alisson as the final piece of the puzzle for Liverpool: AFP/Getty
Jose Mourinho has lauded Alisson as the final piece of the puzzle for Liverpool: AFP/Getty

Jose Mourinho has claimed labelling Virgil van Dijk the best defender in the world would be “unfair” on other centre-backs in Europe’s top leagues.

The Dutchman has established himself as one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League since joining Liverpool from Southampton last year.

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And former Manchester United boss Mourinho, while reluctant to call Van Dijk the best in the world, did highlight his quality.

“That would be unfair to some fantastic central defenders, but in English football for sure, he has everything,” Mourinho said on Sky Sports ahead of Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford on Sunday.

“It's almost impossible to find a weakness in his game.”

Liverpool’s defensive output has markedly improved since the signing of Van Dijk: in the 61 games prior to his arrival they conceded 70 goals, and in the 61 games since they have let in just 38.

And Graeme Souness was even more effusive in his praise of Van Dijk.

“He is the best for me,” said the former Liverpool midfielder. “He's faultless – when I watch him, he's always in control, never extended. I'd like to see him get on the ball, get into midfield and make the simpler passes, but he borders on near faultless.

“Apart from the wonderful athleticism, he's got the brain to sense danger.

“I just see him as an all-round centre-half. He'll beat you in a race, he'll beat you in the air. I think he's just the best out there.”

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