'Machine': Roy Keane claims Liverpool star is better than Manchester United legend

Roy Keane looks on during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Manchester City at Turf Moor on December 03, 2019 in Burnley, United Kingdom.

Jaap Stam won the Champions League with Manchester United in 1999 but Virgil van DIjk repeated the feat with Liverpool last year.

Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield on February 1, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Roy Keane has admitted that he is a huge fan of Liverpool talisman Virgil van Dijk, telling Sky Sports (17 February, 10.30pm) that the Anfield hero is ‘a little better on the ball’ than Manchester United hero Jaap Stam.

Stam is arguably no longer the greatest Dutch defender in Premier League history.

A man forever guaranteed a place in Old Trafford folklore thanks to that famous treble of 1999 was a formidable opponent for centre-forwards everywhere thanks to his fearsome mix of speed and aggression; not to mention a fierce winning mentality.

 

Van Dijk, however, has those attributes in spades, as well as the passing ability of a seasoned midfielder.

And even Keane, who chose the likes of Ryan Giggs over Sadio Mane and Gary Neville over Trent Alexander-Arnold in his combined Manchester United and Liverpool XI, only had positive words to say about the former Celtic and Southampton powerhouse.

9 Sep 2000:  Jaap Stam of Manchester United tries to tackle Kevin Phillips of Sunderland during the FA Carling Premiership game between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford,...

“I’m a big fan on Van Dijk. The guys a machine,” said the former Manchester United captain, who missed that iconic Champions League final against Bayern Munich through suspension.

“He’s probably a little better on the ball than Stam.”

Van Dijk has almost transformed Liverpool’s defence all on his own since his world-record £75 million move from Southampton two years ago, proving to be worth every penny of that eye-watering price-tag.

Virgil van Dijk (4) of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Liverpool at Carrow Road, Norwich on Saturday 15th February 2020.

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