Virgil van Dijk should be PFA Player of the Year, says Jamie Carragher

Virgil van Dijk was named man of the match against Everton

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk (left) battles for the ball with Everton during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool.
Image: Virgil van Dijk battles for the ball with Michael Keane

Jamie Carragher has backed Virgil van Dijk to win the PFA Player of the Year award following his commanding display in Sunday's Merseyside derby against Everton.

The goalless draw saw Liverpool hand the Premier League title race initiative to Manchester City, but Van Dijk earned praise for his man-of-the-match performance in the heart of their defence.

The Dutchman was instrumental in helping the Reds keep their 17th clean sheet of the season as he repeatedly repelled Everton's attacks in a frantic game at Goodison Park.

"Van Dijk's performance today was unbelievable," Carragher told Sky Sports.

"I think he should be PFA Player of the Year. Maybe it's too early for that, but today, if he's not playing, I think Everton win the game.

"He looks like a man playing in a kids' game. He's playing against some of the top players in European football in the Premier League, but everything is so easy.

"You actually feel like he's not getting tested enough. You still feel like there are more gears for him to go into."

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Graeme Souness was similiarly impressed, saying he was surprised Liverpool did not face more competition for Van Dijk's signature when they signed him from Southampton.

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Highlights from Liverpool's 0-0 draw at Everton in the Premier League

"In a lot of games this year, he has made such a difference to them," he said.

"You can say one player doesn't make a difference, but I think when you are that good, you are an exception. He would be the outstanding centre-half around right now.

"When Liverpool went for him in the beginning, Southampton said no and six months later he did join them, I thought that in those six months, they had alerted Real Madrid and Barcelona and I expected Liverpool to get gazumped.

"He is a very special player. When you look at the age of the back four and the goalkeeper, that's a really, really encouraging sign for Liverpool. That's a back five that could play for a decade together."

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