Former World Cup winning defender Franco Baresi has praised Virgil van Dijk for his growth this season, claiming he is one of the best defenders around today.

The Liverpool man has been widely impressive this season, expertly marshalling a defensive unit that has only conceded 18 Premier League goals this campaign in their pursuit of the league title.

Since moving to Merseyside from Southampton in January 2018, for a world record fee for a defender the Dutchman has become one of the world’s best players in his position.

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The centre-back has also recently began adding more goals to his game, scoring against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, and scoring a brace against Watford in the Premier League last month.

And Baresi, who played for AC Milan for 20 years and is regarded as one of the best defenders of all time, claimed to be a huge admirer of the 27-year old. When asked about how current defenders compare to those from his day, as reported by Mirror Sport, who cite Goal, Baresi said:

It is difficult to make comparisons.

I like Van Dijk and De Ligt, they are both very strong and very athletic.

Liverpool have grown hugely as a team recently and a lot of that is thanks to Van Dijk.