Virgil van Dijk has the influence to decide the Premier League title race, according to Jamie Carragher.
The Dutchman has been a revelation since joining Liverpool from Southampton in January 2018, proving to be arguably the world’s leading centre-back.
His performances at the heart of the Reds’ defence have been immaculate, inspiring their title charge this season.
While Manchester City are earning plaudits for blowing teams away, Liverpool’s approach has gone from gung-ho to more pragmatic in 2018/19.
Van Dijk has been the key to that, marshalling the troops and ensuring only 15 league goals have been conceded in 26 matches.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Carragher believes the 27-year-old has the ability to be the difference come May, helping Liverpool grind out wins:
Winning the Premier League is about who gets the most points and there’s different ways of getting points.
Liverpool still play fantastic football, probably not as eye-catching and blistering and goals galore as Manchester City do.
But Liverpool have relied a lot this season on what they’ve done defensively, the two Dutch players were outstanding at the weekend, [Georginio] Wijnaldum was back and certainly that man Van Dijk at the back what he’s done. He’s the best defender in the league.
So we talk about the attacking players City have at the other end, Liverpool can almost match them I would say, but in terms of Van Dijk, Liverpool have the best defender.
So Liverpool could actually win the league that way. It’s not so much about how well you play, it’s getting the three points.
More often than not this season Liverpool have done that.
It promises to be a thrilling final three months of the season, with Liverpool, City and possibly even Tottenham going head-to-head for glory.
An injury to Van Dijk would be potentially fatal for Jurgen Klopp’s side.