Virgil van Dijk has been hailed by Jurgen Klopp as a Liverpool “leader” and “warrior”, with the Dutchman already justifying a £75 million transfer fee.
The Netherlands international became the most expensive defender in world football when completing a move to Anfield from Southampton during the January window.
Liverpool had been looking to tie up a deal for some time, with Van Dijk having been quickly identified as the man to shore up a leaky defensive line.
The 26-year-old has slotted seamlessly into the Reds fold and, with full match sharpness returned following past injury problems, is looking like the talismanic presence Klopp always believed he could be.
“He’s just a good lad, to be honest. That’s the most important thing,” the Liverpool manager told the club’s official website.
“We bought him not because he is a good lad but because he is a good footballer. But being a good lad helps a lot to settle in the team immediately – and that’s what he did.
“That he is a good footballer, there was no doubt. Our other four centre-halves are good footballers as well. It only helps. When you have a lot of possession, you need this kind of passing skills in defenders.
“His body language is brilliant, to be honest. He looks like a leader, like a warrior, already like a Liverpool player – that’s good news.
“Of course he has helped us, that’s why we brought him in.”
The Reds have kept just three clean sheets during those outings, but have collected five victories – including a run of four in a row across recent Premier League and Champions League fixtures.