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Van Dijk the only Liverpool player who would get in Man Utd's treble-winning team - McClaren

19:46 EAT 13/02/2020
Virgil van Dijk Liverpool 2019-20
The England coach feels that despite the Reds boasting players such as Mohamed Salah and Robert Firmino, only their centre-back would make the cut

Virgil van Dijk is the only Liverpool player who would force his way into Manchester United's 1999 treble-winning side, according to ex-Red Devils assistant coach Steve McClaren.

Netherlands captain Van Dijk has maintained the form that saw him finish second in last year's Ballon d'Or list, and has helped steer Jurgen klopp's side towards what looks set to be their maiden Premier League triumph, three decades after their last top-flight title.

Yet the 28-year-old is the only member of the current league leaders that would feature in their bitter rivals United's all-conquering team that completed a sweep of major honours at the end of the last century when former England manager McClaren was in the dugout at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side, built around the Red Devils' famed Class of '92, featured such storied names as David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Peter Schmeichel among their ranks.

Almost 21 years on now, McClaren, who was most recently in charge of QPR, feels that despite the world-renowned prowess of such stars as Mohamed Salah, Rpberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Alisson at Anfield right now, only their talismanic centre-back would earn a place at the Old Trafford table.

"Virgil van Dijk next to Jaap Stam, that would be invincible," the 58-year-old told Sky Sports News. "Nobody would get past them.

"But for me, seriously, only Van Dijk would get into that team. When you look at that Manchester United team, that is leadership throughout the whole team, and leadership was the key. Liverpool are developing that now."

Such comments are likely to rankle supporters on Merseyside, given the down-to-the-wire nature of two of United's triumphs.

They only claimed the Premier League title on the final day of the season following a close-fought contest with Arsenal, while their Champions League success came famously through a pair of stoppage-time goals against Bayern Munich, the second of which was scored by current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Liverpool conversely command a record-breaking 22-point lead over nearest rivals Manchester City at the summit and are on course to possibly exceed Pep Guardiola's side's all-time best haul of 100 points in a single season.

They also remain in European contention too, as they look to defend the Champions League title they claimed against Tottenham last term.