Jürgen Klopp on captain Virgil van Dijk: 'He is super-important for us'

NewsJürgen Klopp on captain Virgil van Dijk: 'He is super-important for us'

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By Joe Urquhart

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Jürgen Klopp has reiterated the importance of Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk to his team, hailing the No.4 as one of the best defenders in the world.

Van Dijk - who was named the Reds' new skipper in the summer - netted his 20th goal for the club during the midweek victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

His strong form in the centre of defence this season has aided the team's promising start to the 2023-24 campaign, with Klopp's men gathering 34 points in the top flight.

Victory in Saturday lunchtime's trip to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace will see Liverpool leapfrog early pacesetters Arsenal into top spot in the division - temporarily at least - with the Reds having suffered just one Premier League defeat so far.

Quizzed on how vital Van Dijk has been to his side's impressive form, Klopp told Friday's pre-match press conference: "It always was [and] will always be; Virg is the best defender in the world.

"Did he have lesser good spells? Yes. [But] if you show me one [player] who never had [that] I will be really happy to meet him. To be honest, probably that's how we all are.

"When we look back in the past and the Rio Ferdinands on the planet, not to blame him, but were [they] then good all the time? Or Jaap Stam, Sami Hyypia, or whatever?

"[Were they] always perfect? Nobody was and nobody will be. So, yes, Virg in that shape is for us super, super, super-important."

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