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Westerveld: Virgil reminds me of Hyppia

Virgil Van Dijk has deservedly won many accolades since arriving at the club at the beginning of 2018. His class and composure has been clearly evident, along with the rare ability to make those around him better players.

Liverpool fans and general football observers know just how important the big Dutchman is to the overall success of the team.

Former Reds goalkeeper Sander Westerveld had the good fortune of playing with one of the most imposing defenders of the modern era in Sami Hyppia.

What the big Finn lacked in pace, he made up with his terrific ability to read the play and knowing exactly where to position himself to neutralise the main strengths of his opponents.

If a ball was coming into the 18-yard box, Hyppia's head would be the first to meet it.

Westerveld who played for the Liverpool legends against AC Milan at Anfield on Saturday, said there were clear parallels between Van Dijk and Hyppia.

The Official site reported Westerveld as saying:

'Sami and Virgil are pretty similar.

"Look at the way when Sami first came in and straight away he made a difference. 

"Sami played in Holland before he came to Liverpool and he learned to play with his feet, which is what Virgil can do.

"All the good things you have about Virgil, Sami had as well and it gave me confidence as a goalkeeper to have someone like that in front of me.

"Even if you couldn't come for a cross you knew Sami would be there to always help you out. 

"He would never panic, he would take his time - he was everything you want in a defender, which is what we have now and what we had in Sam.

Westerveld said that Van Dijk had a solid apprenticeship before his big move to the Reds

But for the former gloveman, the main thing that stands out has been Virgil's ability to embrace the pressure that playing for Liverpool brings which has made him such a terrific player.

 

vandijk2_600.jpg
 

"All the credit to him. 

"When he came to Liverpool there was such big pressure on him.

 

"Yes, he played for Celtic and Southampton, but Liverpool is just a special club.

"Scoring a goal on his debut in the Merseyside derby helped and straight from day one I think he made a difference. 

"He plays almost perfect in every match, every week. Even if he makes a mistake, we still win games.

"Virgil is the perfect defender. He has got everything you need and I hope he can stay at Liverpool for 10 more years."

Westerveld also passed comment on another of his countrymen in Gini Wijnaldum, a player he says who has similar traits to a former hard working forward.

"Gini is one of those guys like a Dirk Kuyt who you see in the commercials with the batteries and the rabbits that just go on and on.

"He is just an amazing player and he has showed that during the last couple of years at Liverpool just how important he is, and you can see when he is not playing how important he is.

"Talking about what you need in midfield, he is ticking all of the boxes and at the moment he is amazing."


 


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Nice piece.  I don't like comparing the two and certainly wouldn't want to say who is better.

Sami was an outstanding player and earned the respect of every fan over many years. 

Virgil is well on his way to doing the same.

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Sami was amazing. Alongside Hansen as our best CB ever. The way Van Dijk is going he could surpass both. God I hope we get at least 5 years out of him. He can lead this club for the rest of his career. 

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Virgil’s sample size is smaller, but he’s on a different level to every centre half I’ve seen play for us in the last 30 years. 

 

A defender who wins us tight games.

 

We’ve finally replaced Gerrard’s influence and impact with him. 

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On 29/03/2019 at 13:46, El Rojo said:

Virgil’s sample size is smaller, but he’s on a different level to every centre half I’ve seen play for us in the last 30 years. 

 

A defender who wins us tight games.

 

We’ve finally replaced Gerrard’s influence and impact with him. 

 

Agree. Big fan of Hyypia, but Van Dijk is on a completely different level. Mainly down to his speed. Hyypia was a great player, but isolated 1v1 against quick opponents he was no good. Which of course both Houllier and Rafa knew very well, and adapted our style of play accordingly.

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Player of the year no matter what happens.   An absolute travesty if anyone else gets it.   Especially if it goes to Sterling who isn't even close to being that important for City. 

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14 minutes ago, Grinch said:

Player of the year no matter what happens.   An absolute travesty if anyone else gets it.   Especially if it goes to Sterling who isn't even close to being that important for City. 

Didn’t you say he was overpriced and overrated? Hmmmm...

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6 minutes ago, Numero Veinticinco said:

With what? Got any examples? 

I only watch a match once so I go with what I see at the time and felt he wasn't his usual self today. Thought Matip was excellent after an early slip.

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59 minutes ago, VladimirIlyich said:

Got pulled out of position a couple of times and was part of a shaky backline for a while. Even brilliant players can't be great all the time.

I mean...

 

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