Analysis

2018 Special: Ranking the 5 best defenders of the year

2. Virgil van Dijk:

van dijk Lampard

27th December 2017! Exactly one year ago, Liverpool announced the arrival of Virgil van Dijk for the record £75m transfer fee, making him the most expensive defender in the history. One year later, neither VvD nor Liverpool are the same. Because they have become unbreakable at the back.

Here are Van Dijk’s stats from 2018: In 33 matches he has played so far, the Dutchman has kept 17 clean sheets and has conceded only 17 goals. He has the most touches, passes, clearances, interceptions, blocks, aerial duels won than any other Premier League player in that amount of time. Simply surreal!

The defender also led Liverpool to the Champions League final for the first time in more than a decade. And he is the reason why Liverpool are six points clear at the top in the Premier League. The Reds have conceded just seven goals in the Premier League this season, where VVD has started every game.

The 27-year old has also led the Netherlands to the UEFA Nations League semi-finals under his leadership. The Dutch came out on top in the group consisting France and Germany mere months after not even qualifying for the World Cup.

You don’t always need trophies to prove how brilliant your year was. And that is exactly what VvD has done. But don’t get me wrong – The Liverpool superhero is not far away from winning the silverware either.

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