Van Dijk ‘is the best centre-half of all time’, according to former Liverpool striker

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has claimed that Reds defender Virgil van Dijk is “the best centre-half of all time”.

The Holland international has been excellent for the Anfield club since joining from Southampton for £76m in January 2018.

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Liverpool reached the Champions League final in his first season at the club before winning the competition the following campaign.

Van Dijk was also crucial as the Reds won their first Premier League title in 2019/20 and is now regarded as one of the best central defenders to play in the top flight of English football.

Prior to Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Villarreal on Tuesday evening, Rio Ferdinand and Owen were high in praise of the 30-year-old.

Ferdinand said that Van Dijk “is the best centre-back on the planet right now, easy” before the former Reds striker weighed in with an extremely bold claim.

“Well I’d go further. I think he’s the best centre-half of all time,” he said (quotes via Metro)

"I just felt happy to be in the conversation."

"Virgil Van Dijk is the best centre back on the planet right now." @themichaelowen shares why he thinks Liverpool's rock at the back is even better than prime @rioferdy5#UCL

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 3, 2022

Asked what makes him better than other centre-halves, Owen continued: “He probably scored a few more goals, not much, but we’re talking about the greatest here.

“As I’ve said, Rio was the best centre-half I ever played with. But with Van Dijk, as a centre-forward, I look at him and think: what do you do against him?

“He’s bigger than everyone, he’s faster than everyone, he’s stronger than everyone, he’s brilliant on the ball, he scores goals. I’ve never seen anything like it.

“The only thing that goes against Van Dijk at the moment – and I stress, at the moment – is his winners’ medals. He’s only won one Premier League and one Champions League.

“People like Rio and [Paolo] Maldini and [Franco] Baresi and people like that who you might consider the greatest, they’ve all got numerous. So that’s the only thing that goes against him.

“But as a one off, I look at him and think: how can you get any better than that?”

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