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2023/24 Season Report Card - Virgil Van Dijk

Our player of the season for me and it’s not particularly close. He wasn’t perfect, he had some games that weren’t great and some moments that had me thinking “the old Virgil wouldn’t have done that” but overall this was a brilliant bounce back season from him and he did a great job in his first campaign as skipper.


I had some doubts about his suitability to lead the team but I’m happy to say I was wrong there. He led by example all year and never was that more evident than at Wembley when he skippered a team full of kids to victory against Chelsea. He was not going to accept anything other than victory that day and he actually won the game for us twice. The first time the officials ruled it out with a terrible call, but he wouldn’t be denied and he went forward and headed in the winner in the final minute of extra time.




He isn’t quite as physically dominant as he was at 27-29 when he was in his peak years and was capable of outrunning the likes of Mbappe and Adama Traore, but he’s still quick enough and he's still the best defender in the world. He's the best in the air, the best on the ground and the best with the ball. Basically he's just the best in every department.


A year ago I was saying that the aura he had was no longer there. He was still one of the best but he wasn't head and shoulders above everybody else in the way he has been since he walked through the door in 2018. I wasn't sure whether he'd get that back as he's in his 30s and he's had a horrific knee injury. It is back though. We're back in that situation where teams just don't attack him and focus on the other side of the pitch. In some ways that makes what Quansah did even more impressive, as he was the one who forwards were looking to get at because they wanted no part of Van Dijk. He's back.



Previous Season Ratings:


2022/23:  7/10

2021/22:  10/10

2020/21:   Season doesn’t count

2019/20:   9.5/10

2018/19:   10/10

2017/18:   9/10


This Season’s Rating: 9/10


He's back alright. Other than one season when he dropped to a 7, he's never been lower than 9 and those standards he has set are ridiculously high. The team wobbled late on and perhaps that was a time when Virgil could have done more in terms of leading them, while he had a couple of ropey games in that spell himself. He didn't drop off the way most of his team-mates did, but he wasn't at his best either. If he had been, his grade would have been half a point higher.


Best Moment: 


The winner at Wembley.


Worst Moment:




The Future?


More of the same. Arne Slot needs Virgil to be at his best on the pitch and to be the dressing room leader on it. He'll be leaning heavily on his fellow Dutchman as he looks to implement his methods. 

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Impressed by this kid last season.


Definitely one to keep an eye on in the future.

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9/10. Handed the captaincy, he's used it to elevate his level again. While he's getting on a bit, at his best he is still the best defender in the league.

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