Former Netherlands star Nigel de Jong has admitted he is surprised with how Virgil van Dijk has settled in and improved at Liverpool, since his arrival in January last year.

Van Dijk, who joined Liverpool from Southampton for a record-fee last season, has quickly established himself as mainstay at Anfield, owing to some fantastic performances.

The Dutchman’s arrival has subsequently lifted the standards of everyone around him, with Liverpool boasting of the strongest defence in the league after conceding just 10 goals this term.

Despite having had to spend a world-record fee on acquiring his services last year, Liverpool have benefitted tremendously from Van Dijk’s leadership qualities at the back.

And De Jong admitted he is surprised with how well Van Dijk has settled in and raised his standards at Liverpool, since arriving from Southampton.

“I would love to say ‘No’, but ‘Yes’, I’m kind of surprised [with how Van Dijk has settled in and improved at Liverpool]”, De Jong said on beIN Sports.

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“I know him as a player from the national team and also as a player he was at Celtic, but if you see how composed he is right now, I don’t think a lot of people in Holland would say yes, I have seen that happening.

“He is an amazing force for Liverpool and by far their leader on the pitch when it comes to the defence, but [also] I think all over the pitch.”

Van Dijk has played a part in every single Premier League and Champions League game for Liverpool so far this season.