Van Dijk has faced criticism this season for his performances for both the Netherlands and Liverpool.


Former Dutch stars such as Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit have slammed the defender for his lack of leadership at the heart of Liverpool’s defence.



Van Dijk’s inconsistent performances have not helped him, but Ake stressed that what he has achieved at Anfield is staggering.


The Manchester City star insisted that his compatriot is still a massive personality and is unsure why people cannot see what he brings as a captain to the Netherlands squad, both on and off the pitch.



Ake told Dutch daily De Telegraaf: “Virgil is a leader for the Oranje and for Liverpool, what he has achieved is not nothing.


“He really is a very big personality.



“Apparently, people don’t see Virgil’s importance to us on and off the pitch.


“We cannot imagine or wish for a better captain.”


Ake and Van Dijk will be on opposite sides when Liverpool visit the Etihad to take on Manchester City in a big Premier League game on Saturday afternoon.