Despite rating Virgil van Dijk as the world’s best defender, former Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand has listed four men he feels are more deserving of winning the Player of the Year than the Liverpool star.
Van Dijk has totally transformed Liverpool’s defence since arriving from Southampton in a then world-record fee for a defender in January 2018, helping the club reach successive Champions League finals and putting them firmly in place to win the Premier League title this season.
The Dutchman, who will reportedly be offered a new deal imminently, is expected to be among the contenders to win in contention for the Player of the Year accolade – but Ferdinand thinks there are players more deserving.
Ferdinand told the Daily Mirror: “I think he (Van Dijk) is undoubtedly the best defender in the world, the best centre-back in the world now.
“He’d get my vote for best defender, best centre-half, but he wouldn’t get my vote for Player of the Year. I think there’s a few other people probably vying for that accolade.
“But he has been tremendous. I think he’s a fantastic footballer. Calm, cool, collected, strong, quick. All the attributes you’d want in a modern day player.
“And he carries himself very well – I love the way he carries himself.”
When asked who he would vote for, Ferdinand replied: “I think Jordan Henderson has been very good. I think [Sadio] Mane has been my favourite player when I watch Liverpool if I’m honest.
“When I watch Liverpool he’s the person who gets me off my seat more than anyone. He’d definitely be up there.
“[Jamie] Vardy’s been good, scoring those goals. Kevin De Bruyne – when you watch him he just purrs. So there’s a few names there.”