There can be no doubting the impact Virgil van Dijk has had at Liverpool.
The Dutch defender has been at the club for less than a year but he’s already emerged as a leader.
Indeed, Liverpool players recently voted for Van Dijk to captain the club against Red Star Belgrade in the absence of Jordan Henderson and James Milner.
The Reds decided to make Van Dijk the most expensive defender in history when they paid Southampton £75 million for his services, and he hasn’t disappointed.
The 27-year-old is at the heart of the joint-best defence in the Premier League right now. Liverpool have conceded just five goals in 12 matches.
And Van Dijk has developed into the best defender in the top flight, according to Jamie Carragher.
"I can't think of a defender off the top of my head that is better,” Carragher said in August.
Van Dijk v Bamba
Yet you can always find statistics to discredit someone and ESPN have done just that.
They’ve used Cardiff City defender Sol Bamba’s stats this season to question whether Van Dijk is worth the £75m that Liverpool spent on him.
Bamba has more goals, blocks, interceptions and tackles than Van Dijk, and he’s also won more aerial battles.
“Still worth the £75m price tag, Liverpool fans?,” ESPN asked on Twitter.
The tweet sparked a reaction from Liverpool supporters, and one spoke the truth about how comparing Van Dijk to Bamba is just ridiculous.
VintageSalah wrote: “Comparing defenders is very misleading. One is competing for the PL and the other is competing for survival in the PL.
“With the quality around Van Dijk he doesn’t need to defend as much as Bamba for Cardiff who are lacking PL quality.
“Hope that helps.”
Bamba’s team are 18th in the Premier League; they’ve conceded 25 goals at an average of 2.08 goals per game.
The Cardiff defender finds himself in a position to boost his defensive stats more often than Van Dijk does.
Even Neil Warnock, Cardiff’s manager, admitted he was wrong to say that Bamba is a better defender than Van Dijk.
“I think I'd been drinking if I'm honest,” Warnock said after being reminded about his comments.