Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher assess Van Dijk's standing in world football

Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on October 7, 2018 in Liverpool, England.

Virgil van Dijk has enjoyed an ever-growing reputation since joining Liverpool last January for a world record fee for a defender.

Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool reacts during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on September 29, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.

Virgil van Dijk's £75million move from Southampton to Liverpool at the start of the year was a long time coming and naturally carried a weight of expectation.

When you're the most expensive defender in the history of the game, you're expected to look the part and Van Dijk has certainly done that.

He's almost single-handedly overseen a turnaround in Liverpool's defensive fortunes - Jurgen Klopp's side haven't conceded a Premier League goal at Anfield since February, an incredible improvement for a defence that was much maligned before Van Dijk's arrival.

 

His form and impact on Liverpool has led to debate over his standing in the world game - is Van Dijk the best centre-half in the world?

Speaking to Sky Sports, former Reds great Jamie Carragher has had his say.

"He's right in the top group," he said. "Some people may put him top, I would just hang fire with that, with the fact that he hasn't won the biggest trophies yet - I think you have to do that.

"I think if you want to be known as the best in whatever position, you have to have something on the CV, you know Premier League or Champions League.

Former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher is pictured prior to the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg match between A.S. Roma and Liverpool at Stadio Olimpico on May 2, 2018 in Rome,...

"He got to the Champions League final last season, but I think the two players at the other end of the pitch - Ramos and Varane - not so much that they're better players than Virgil van Dijk, but they've won Champions Leagues, both won the World Cup, so I think when you've got that on the CV it's hard to look past those two."

It's difficult to argue with Carragher; in a team game, surely you need to demonstrate you can have an impact on a side winning the elite trophies to be considered the best?

Liverpool have a great chance of doing that this season, however, as they compete at the top of the Premier League and will fancy their chances in the Champions League once again.

If Van Dijk can help pull off either of those, it will be difficult to consider anyone better.

Robert Lewandowski of FC Bayern Muenchen is challenged by Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid and Raphael Varane of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final First Leg match between...

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