Football

Virgil van Dijk was the Premier League Player of the Month for December..

Twitter user offers perspective on Van Dijk by comparing stats of Europe's elite defenders

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Liverpool are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League, seven points clear of Manchester City ahead of the champions' meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday.

Few would have believed that could be possible at the start of the season; even as Liverpool kept pace with City, it was expected that Pep Guardiola's side would pull away eventually.

But Jurgen Klopp has guided his team to an incredible season so far that has seen them win every single game against a team outside the top six.

If you'd somehow convinced someone to believe this could be possible a year ago, they'd have naturally assumed that this title challenge was built on a breathtaking attack.

But it's actually the defence that's setting them on their way; Liverpool have only conceded ten in 22 games, with City the only team to put more than one past them.

It's an incredible record that is only matched at this stage by Jose Mourinho's Chelsea in 2006.

The biggest reason for the brilliant record is surely Virgil van Dijk, who has been an absolute revelation since joining from Southampton a year ago.

The Dutchman was just named the Premier League's Player of the Month for December and is being hailed as possibly the best defender on the planet right now.

But just how accurate is that? Well, Twitter user BabuYagu set about comparing the defensive stats of both the Premier League's and Europe's top defenders to see where Van Dijk came out.

Van Dijk has transformed Liverpool's defence along with Alisson.

The metrics chosen were the percentage of ariel duels won x the percentage of ground duels won - and to say Van Dijk came out well is an understatement.

You can check out the graphs below:

Obviously, there is more to a defenders game than just winning duels, but Van Dijk's record stands out against absolutely everyone's.

When it comes to winning the ball, the Liverpool man wins virtually everything that comes his way, be it in the air or on the ground.

There simply isn't another player around who can match him for that.

Topics:
Football
Virgil van Dijk
Jurgen Klopp
Premier League

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