Van Dijk, who finalised his move to Anfield on New Year’s Day, established himself as one of the Premier League’s leading defenders during his two-and-a-half-season spell with Southampton.
And, after lining up in opposition to his new teammate on four occasions since joining the Reds in the summer of 2015, Firmino is delighted to now share a dressing room with Van Dijk.
“He’s a really, really good defender. It’s always really hard playing against him. It’s very hard, he marks very tightly and I just think he’s a really, really high-quality player,” the Brazil forward told Liverpoolfc.com.
Expanding on the areas of Van Dijk’s game he appreciates and detailing what attributes he expects the No.4 to bring to Jürgen Klopp’s squad, Firmino continued: “I think in addition to the fact he’s very physical, it’s his presence. He’s tall, he’s very strong and that’s in addition to his innate ability.
“I just hope he helps us as much as possible. I think like everybody else who comes in, they add something to the group and I hope that he can also do that and bring something to the team himself.
“I’m really looking forward to playing alongside him, of course.
“Obviously it’s great that he’s joined our team and now that he’s come with us of course I’ll welcome him in with open arms and I’ll look to make friends with him.”