Virgil van Dijk has been “a colossus” for Liverpool, says Phil Babb, with the £75 million ($96m) centre-half proving to be “worth every penny”.
Eyebrows were raised when Jurgen Klopp parted with a record-breaking fee for the 27-year-old centre-half, but he has slotted seamlessly into the fold at Anfield.
Van Dijk is considered to have helped push Liverpool into Premier League title contention, with the Dutchman yet to be breached in his outings on home soil for the Reds.
Babb, who spent six years on Merseyside during his playing career, told LFCTV: "He has been immense, an absolute tower.
"People question the amount of money spent for him, but he’s been worth every penny so far.
"He has really helped to turn Anfield back into a fortress – no goals conceded in the league [at home] I believe since his arrival.
"He just a colossus, is calming influence, great on the ball but commanding in the air."
Van Dijk’s impact at Anfield has not been restricted to the collective cause, with individuals also benefiting from his presence.
Joe Gomez is currently partnering the Dutchman at centre-half, with the versatile 21-year-old having seen his performance level rise alongside a world-class talent.
Babb added: "The other thing about Van Dijk is, Joe Gomez is learning from him as well by watching a master craftsman playing alongside him."
Van Dijk and Gomez will be going in search of another clean sheet and a third successive Premier League win of the season when Liverpool play host to Brighton.