Shola Ameobi has compared Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk to Newcastle legend Alan Shearer.
Since moving to Anfield in January 2018, Van Dijk has become one of the best centre-backs in the world. He has helped Liverpool in their chase for a first Premier League title since 1990. His consistent high performances were recognised with the PFA Player of the Year award.
Speaking on Stadium Astro, Ameobi was asked to name his most inspirational teammate and the ex-Nigeria striker, unsurprisingly, went for Shearer, before likening his leadership qualities to that of Van Dijk.
On Saturday, the Netherlands international led Liverpool to a spirited 3-2 victory at St. James Park, scoring the opening goal.
“For me, it’s [inspirational teammate] got to be Alan Shearer,” Ameobi told Stadium Astro.
“He was a young boy and we’d seen him score loads of goals.
“And you compare him to van Dijk, making calls and telling us what to do on the pitch.
“He’s very vocal like that.”
Ameobi and Shearer played together at Newcastle, with the former amassing 76 goals in close to 400 appearances for the Toons.
On the other hand, Shearer is the all-time Premier League top-scorer, with 260 goals in spells with Blackburn and Newcastle.
“He [Shearer] was the heart and soul of this club [Newcastle], our leader,” he continued.
“He led by what he did on the pitch. His professionalism was second-to-none.
“Everything did he did with a purpose and he dragged us along with him.
“He expected a certain level on the pitch but everything else he did himself.”
On Tuesday, they will hope for a miraculous turnaround in the second leg at Anfield.