Liverpool face Manchester United in a game that they need to win in order to keep up the pressure on Manchester City.
Before Virgil van Dijk’s arrival, Liverpool’s defence had been poor and struggled to provide Jurgen Klopp with a strong base in the team.
At Man U, it seems as though the transfer policy is incredibly erratic and every year Jose Mourinho looks for a defender and seems to always miss out. The club signed Eric Bailly to try to solve the defensive crisis but so far he’s been poor.
Virgil van Dijk
At the time of his £75 million arrival, many fans thought Liverpool had overpaid for the giant centre-back but so far during his career in Liverpool, the former Southampton man has been a Goliath at the back.
Not only is he one of the best defender in the league with the ball at his feet but he’s probably the most dominant in the air. His reading of the game has improved massively at Liverpool although at times his concentration can at times drop off. Moroever, he seems to have become one of the club’s main leaders and marshalls Liverpool’s defence superbly.
With Joe Gomez next to him, van Dijk might just have the best defensive partnership in the league. He may have cost a lot but due to his immediate impact at the club, it seems completely worth it.
TT Grade: A+
Man U paid £30 million for the Villareal defender in 2016 but so far in his career in the Premier League, he hasn’t looked like he can play a full season in the league. He’s constantly struggling with injuries and only played 13 games in the league last year.
Despite Mourinho desperately searching for a defender, the Ivory Coast international seems to be out of favour at the club. Against Arsenal, he had one of his best games in his Man U career but overall, he’s far too inconsistent. He has the physical attributes to play in the league but doesn’t read the game well.
It doesn’t seem like he’ll be at Man U in the long run as Mourinho will once again search for a centreback come the summer.
TT Grade: B-
There’s no real comparison between the two players. Van Dijk is one of the best in the league and is becoming one of the best in the world. His game is incredibly well rounded and he might well be one of the most dominant players in the world. Bailly on the other hand, is just a poor player who can never stay fit for long.