‘Van Dijk is a leader at Liverpool and the best centre-half in the world’ – Henderson hails title-winning team-mates

Virgil van Dijk Liverpool 2019-20
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The Reds skipper has paid homage to those he has worked alongside this season, with a 30-year wait for top-flight glory at Anfield brought to an end

Virgil van Dijk has been recognised as a “real leader” at Liverpool by club captain Jordan Henderson, with the Dutchman considered to be “the best centre-half in the world”.

Jurgen Klopp has assembled a star-studded cast at Anfield, with many of those at his disposal said to sit among the global elite in their chosen position.

Van Dijk fits into that category, with the Netherlands international having become a talismanic presence for the Champions League and Premier League winners.

His value is not lost on those around him, with Henderson telling the Liverpool Echo: “Virgil is a huge player for us. Everyone knows that. He's made such a big difference since he's been at the club.

“As a player, as a person, as a leader, everything. I haven't got enough words to describe him. He gives the team confidence and he just gets better and better. A real leader. He is the best centre-half in the world.”

Along with Van Dijk, Liverpool’s acquisition of Alisson has allowed them to return to the loftiest of perches. The Brazilian goalkeeper has earned plenty of plaudits during his two seasons in England, with Henderson adding to them.

He said: “Where do I start?! Ali is the best goalkeeper in the world. I know it is easy for me to say as I play with him but in the big moments, the saves he's made, his distribution, everything about him is world class.

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“He is so laid back off the pitch, so chilled, a brilliant person to have around the dressing room. I couldn't speak highly enough of him really. A top-class keeper and he's made a real difference since he's been at the club.”

Another of those that Henderson places at the very top of the talent tree is Fabinho, with the Reds skipper saying of his fellow midfielder: “Another player who has been incredible. Fab is probably one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.

“He is so good at reading the game and breaking the play up, but also you've seen some of his work in the final third. Some of the passes he has played to create openings have been fantastic. Another great addition to this squad. He has made a big difference.”