Paul Merson and Phil Thompson both feel Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk is the one player Jose Mourinho would love to sign from bitter rivals Liverpool.
The centre half was signed from Southampton for a world-record for a defender in a £75m deal in January, and has gone on to be regarded as one of the Premier League’s, and world’s, best defenders.
Speaking to Sky Sports, a
“If I was Manchester United, I’d want Virgil van Dijk,” said Merson, in quotes by Metro.
United sit sixth in the league, eight points adrift of the top four, sixteen off Liverpool, and Mourinho’s constantly changing back four have already conceded 26 goals this campaign.
“Defensively, they are not good enough, nowhere near it and he’s the best in the business for me,” added Merson.
“It’s easy to say after, but Van Dijk probably wondered if he would be this good at a big club because he was at Southampton where if you win, you win, if you don’t then you don’t.
“I don’t mean that in a bad way but there’s no pressure compared to Liverpool.”
The ex-Arsenal player’s statements were echoed by former Liverpool player Thompson, stating the Dutchman is the foundation that every club desires to have.
“It has to be van Dijk because he’s the kind of player you can build a team around,” added Thompson.
“He can sure them up at the back and can organise those around him to make the team a lot more solid and then give them a better base to attack.”
Few would disagree with the duo’s comments considering the form van Dijk is in, which has unsurprisingly coincided with Liverpool enjoying their best ever start to a top flight season.
The club sit of the Premier League ahead of the fixture with a defensive record of only six goals conceded all season, 20 less than their bitter rivals.