Troy Deeney hates playing against Virgil van Dijk.
“I’ve said it many times – I hate him. I hate going up against him,” the Watford striker said on BBC Radio 5 live in September.
“He’s too big, too strong, too quick, too good on the ball, he loves fighting and he’s got a good head of hair.”
The last few words were said with a smile on his face, of course, but Deeney’s point still remains; Van Dijk is a nightmare to play against.
He’s tall, strong in the air and has blistering speed. In the 3-2 win against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, Van Dijk reached a top speed of 32.4km/h - Kylian Mbappe’s highest speed on the night was 32km/h.
A video has emerged showing just how impressive an athlete Van Dijk is.
The 27-year-old is away on international duty with the Netherlands.
Van Dijk's ridiculous leap
And while preparing for their Nations League match against France, the players took part in a game in which they attempt to head a ball that is hanging from the ceiling.
Van Dijk nails it, jumping up and making contact with the ball.
Spot the teammate who needs to jump to touch the ball with his hand.
That's seriously impressive. Cristiano Ronaldo is well known for his leap, but Van Dijk definitely gives him a run for his money.
Based on the clip, it’s easy to wonder why Van Dijk has only managed to score one goal for Liverpool since his arrival from Southampton.
That said, he could have come away with a hat-trick in the recent draw to Arsenal.
It surely won’t be long before the £75 million centre-back adds to his tally though, and next month’s Merseyside derby against Everton presents a great opportunity for him.
Van Dijk scored against the Toffees on his debut in January, and Marco Silva’s side are pretty miserable when it comes to defending set-pieces.
They have allowed a division-high total of six goals from set-pieces so far this season.
So Van Dijk will be eyeing another goal when the two rivals meet at Anfield on December 2.