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Virgil van Dijk

‘Full package Van Dijk better than Ferdinand & Terry’ – Liverpool defender just needs trophies, says Murphy

08:38 BST 20/10/2020
Rio Ferdinand Virgil van Dijk John Terry
The former Reds midfielder is a big fan of a star turn at Anfield who is going to be a big miss for Jurgen Klopp during an injury-enforced absence

Virgil van Dijk is “the full package” when it comes to modern-day centre-halves, says Danny Murphy, with the Liverpool defender considered to be a better all-round performer than Rio Ferdinand and John Terry.

That is some billing for the Netherlands international, but his consistency over recent years has placed him into a notable talent bracket.

For many, a man taken to Liverpool for £75 million ($97m) in the winter window of 2018 has already secured a place among the Premier League’s all-time greats.

Murphy is among those to hold said opinion, with the former Liverpool midfielder claiming that a commanding 29-year-old merely needs more silverware in order to cement a standing above iconic figures from Manchester United and Chelsea’s past.

“I was very fortunate to play with Rio Ferdinand in his pomp with England,” Murphy told talkSPORT.

“He was one of the very best centre-halves I’ve ever seen as well.

“But Van Dijk for me is the full package. There are no weaknesses in his game.

“I think his long-range passing was better than Rio’s but we are splitting hairs.

“The only thing that Van Dijk doesn’t have is longevity because Rio and Terry played over a decade and won trophies in that time. That’s what Van Dijk has got to do.”

Liverpool are going to have to try and chase down more major honours this season without Van Dijk at their disposal.

He is facing up to a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering knee ligament damage in a dramatic derby date with Merseyside rivals Everton.

A reckless challenge from Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has left Van Dijk requiring surgery, with Murphy admitting that the Dutchman is going to be a big miss.

He has told BBC Sport: “They are going to be worse off without him. They are going to be more vulnerable defensively without Van Dijk because he’s the best in the world – he’s the best centre-half I’ve ever seen, he’s that good.

“You are going to be more vulnerable. Fabinho could drop in there if [Joe] Gomez or [Joel] Matip are struggling, but after that, there isn’t that much cover.

“They have got to get through to January really, because it probably looks as though he is going to be out for the rest of the season.

“The circumstances surrounding it aren’t good. He must be devastated watching that back because it could easily have been avoided. I’d be angry.”