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'I Think I'm Quite Complete' - Van Dijk Breaks Down Liverpool Defence In Ferdinand Interview

'I Think I'm Quite Complete' - Van Dijk Breaks Down Liverpool Defence In Ferdinand Interview
By Eoin Harrington

Most football fans and pundits would agree that Virgil van Dijk is one of the best defenders in the world, if not the best.

The Liverpool centre-back has been a revelation in his four years at Anfield. Upon arrival in January 2018, he seemed to mark the "missing piece" of Jurgen Klopp's system, and Liverpool have become an imperious force with van Dijk at the heart of their defence.

The Dutchman is well aware of his talent. Speaking to BT Sport ahead of Liverpool's visit to Newcastle, van Dijk broke down some of his defensive play, and said he believes he is quite "complete" for a modern centre-back.

Virgil Van Dijk: Liverpool centre-half thinks he is 'complete' for the modern game

Virgil van Dijk is regularly mentioned in debates about the greatest Premier League centre-back of all time. One of the other candidates most frequently brought up is former Manchester United man Rio Ferdinand - so to see Ferdinand interviewing van Dijk on the intricacies of modern defending was fascinating.

That was what we got on BT Sport on Saturday morning. Ferdinand asked van Dijk what he believed his greatest strength on the pitch was - and van Dijk's answer was, essentially, "everything":

I think I'm quite complete for modern-day football. You have to organise, you have to have an overview of the whole pitch.

Especially with the way we play, we play attacking football, so you have to make sure that your holding midfielders are together with your other centre back.

I try to think ahead - what will the striker or midfielder do in his next move?

Van Dijk has assumed a leadership role at Liverpool, regularly captaining the side in the absence of club captain Jordan Henderson. The manner in which he spoke of his fellow defenders and midfielders, particularly the Liverpool full-backs, shows he understands the role he plays in the Liverpool setup.

Ferdinand brought up a fascinating case study from a clash between Liverpool and Tottenham from 2019. With van Dijk pinned back in a two-on-one with Spurs attackers Son Heung-Min and Moussa Sissoko, he chooses not to commit to either player - and he broke down his thought process:

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I know that Son is with me, and I know Son is an outstanding finisher - left and right. Sissoko obviously less, in my opinion. If I keep him on the outside, he's going to be on his left foot.

Don't let him pass to Son, and hope that he's going to miss it.

Van Dijk closed by saying that he doesn't mind having a quiet game once the defence are happy with the result:

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If we win, keep a clean sheet, and I didn't have much to do? Happy days.

If Virgil van Dijk can help lead Liverpool to more major silverware this season, he will certainly bolster his case for being in the pantheon of the Premier League's greatest ever.

SEE ALSO: Gary Neville Thinks Ronaldo Could Choose To Leave Manchester United

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