Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho joked he is looking forward to the Nations League in order to test his skills against PFA Players’ Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool defender Van Dijk emerged as the winner of the honour, voted on by members of the Professional Footballers' Association, ahead of five other candidates, including team-mate Sadio Mane, Manchester City stars Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva, as well as Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard.
Van Dijk has proven a lynchpin in a Liverpool backline that has conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League this season and has them just a point off City in the title race with just two games remaining.
The centre-back has not allowed a single player to successfully dribble past him this season, nor has any player managed it since March of last season in the Premier League.
And when asked about Van Dijk’s victory, along with that statistic, England international Sancho noted he’ll get a chance to succeed where others have failed when the Three Lions face the defender and the Netherlands in the Nations League semi-finals in June.
“Nations League is coming up!” Sancho told Sky Sports with a laugh.
“I’ve been watching a lot of Premier League games and I’ve seen him. He’s a great defender. He shows his ability on the pitch and that’s why he’s probably one of the best defenders in the world right now.
“It was either Raheem [Sterling] or Van Dijk who was going to win it because both this year’s seasons [for both players] have been fantastic. Their stats speak for themselves and they keep their teams on
0 - No opposition player has completed a dribble past Virgil van Dijk in any of his 36 PL apps this season. In fact, this run stretches back to last March, meaning he hasn’t been dribbled past by an opponent in any of his last 45 PL apps. Immovable. #PFAAwards #POTY pic.twitter.com/Y8BIsle0vq— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 28, 2019
Sancho also talked about his England team-mate Sterling, who was named the PFA Young Player of the Year and was seen as the other main contender for the Player of the Year with Van Dijk.
And Sancho, a London-born winger himself, sees Sterling’s success as an inspiration for himself and others like him.
“He’s an inspiration to a lot of youngsters, especially because he’s from London as well,” Sancho said. “I’m from London, so I’m sure every youngster from London will look up to him and be just like him one day and win big awards like that.”