Jamie Carragher’s word is often gospel amongst Liverpool fans, such is the respect that the former Anfield man has earned with supporters of the Reds. He was, of course, a player at the club for nearly 20 years before his retirement in 2013, and he’s since continued to be involved with the game as a pundit.
On January 28th (Monday), Carragher celebrated his 41st birthday, and the footballing world came together to celebrate. News outlet Goal issued him with a birthday message before posing a question – where does the Englishman rank amongst the best ever Premier League defenders?
Now, whether you agree with this in a wider context or not is your prerogative, but Carragher’s suggestion implies that van Dijk is ahead of Carragher at least as far as Liverpool are concerned, and that’s an interesting prospect to debate.
2nd behind VVD!
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) January 28, 2019
Of course, van Dijk only moved to Liverpool just over a year ago, but what an impact he’s made. He’s come in and transformed the defence, with the Reds improving both domestically and in Europe following his arrival last January. He’s got everything that the modern defender needs; he’s strong, he’s tall, he’s comfortable with the ball at his feet, he’s a great tackler. For Liverpool, then, he’s quickly emerged as one of their best signings in years. He’s had a little bit of help this season, given the arrival of Alisson, but his impact simply cannot be undervalued.
Carragher, meanwhile, has longevity on his side. During a near-twenty year career, Carragher won a number of trophies – like the FA Cup, Champions League and the League Cup – and he remained a crucial part of the Reds’ first team throughout much of his tenure. He was consistent and strong, whilst his passion and commitment to the cause was fundamental to all of Liverpool’s success throughout his tenure. Was he as technically gifted as van Dijk? Certainly not, but he more than made up for that in other ways.
Jamie Carragher, though, clearly believes as though van Dijk has already overtaken him as far as quality is concerned. That said, he’s got a long way to go to truly get close to the status that Carragher holds at Anfield, but if his first 12 months is anything to go by, he’s certainly got a chance of outdoing the now-pundit.
So, where do you stand? Who was better in their prime – Virgil van Dijk or Jamie Carragher?Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!