Liverpool’s defensive improvement since Virgil van Dijk arrived at Anfield from Southampton back in January has been nothing short of remarkable.
Eyebrows were raised when the Reds splashed out a cool £75 million for the Dutch centre-back’s services but, if anything, that transfer fee now feels like a relative bargain.
Van Dijk, in the eyes of many football fans, is currently the world’s best defender following the extraordinary impact he’s made at Anfield over the past 12 months.
Liverpool were struggling defensively prior to Van Dijk’s arrival, but the Netherlands international has brought some much-needed leadership and world-class quality to the club’s backline.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have conceded just six goals in the Premier League so far this season - in 16 matches - and that impressive record is largely down to their record signing.
The Merseyside outfit are also through to the Champions League knockout stages, with Van Dijk producing another talismanic performance in Liverpool’s must-win fixture against Napoli on Tuesday night.
Following the match, former striker Chris Sutton sparked debate on Twitter by suggesting his former club Celtic were responsible for developing the Dutchman - not Southampton or Liverpool.
“Virgil is verging on the ridiculous with his level of performance... people forget he was developed at Celtic and Neil Lennon signed him for just £2 million,” Sutton tweeted.
Van Dijk spent two seasons with Celtic after joining the Scottish giants from Groningen, winning two league titles, before sealing a £13 million switch to Southampton in September 2015.
With no disrespect intended to Scottish football, Van Dijk was never going to spend long playing there. He was far too good.
This moment back in December 2013, just months after he signed for Celtic, was probably the first moment he proved that was the case…
And here's another angle for your viewing pleasure...
That’s right: a stunning solo goal from his own half against St Johnstone.
Who knew the big man had THAT in his locker?
Although Van Dijk is a class act, it’s hard to envisage him scoring a replica goal in England’s top division.