Liverpool legend Steve Nicol believes that it is too soon to say that Virgil van Dijk is the best centre-back that there has ever been in the Premier League, though he thinks the Dutchman must be in the conversation.

Van Dijk has earned plaudits for his performances with Liverpool, with the defender's arrival helping the club to their first European trophy since 2005 when the Reds lifted the Champions League trophy in Madrid in 2019.  


The Merseyside club are also on course to win their first Premier League title, as they sit 25 points clear of second placed Manchester City, with the league hoping to resume in June.

Van Dijk has been hailed in some quarters as the best centre-back the Premier League has ever seen, but Reds legend Nicol feels it is too soon to come to such a conclusion.

Nicol believes Liverpool had an obvious problem in defence, which Van Dijk has solved, but is of the view that he has been plying his trade at one of the top clubs for too little time to be dubbed the best ever.

“I think it's very difficult to turn around and say he's the best centre-back ever in Premier League history because the problem is, right now is current, and that's what I think [Vincent] Kompany [who has said Van Dijk is the best is] focusing on”, Nicol told ESPN FC.

“And I think the other thing you have to remember is that it was such a obvious problem Liverpool had, it was such a gaping hole at the back and the reason they couldn't get across the line is because they were losing goals.

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“The best guy around in the Premier League at Southampton was Van Dijk and he's come in and he has been superb. He right now is the top centre-back in world football, never mind just in the Premier League.

“But it is a short space of time at the very top with Liverpool, so I'm not quite ready to say he's the best one ever.

“He's certainly up there in the argument, but just a little early for me to throw that sort of accolade around.”

Van Dijk finished second in the Ballon d'Or in 2019, becoming the only defender since Fabio Cannavaro won the award, in 2006, to finish in the top three.