Football

Van Dijk has been a game-changing signing for Liverpool over the last year..

Video shows Virgil van Dijk racing the Premier League's fastest players at Liverpool

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Virgil van Dijk is the best defender in the Premier League right now, it's really no debate.

Since signing for Liverpool over a year ago, the Dutchman has revolutionised the Reds and equipped Jurgen Klopp's defence with the means of winning silverware.

Liverpool currently sit atop the Premier League table with a four point advantage over Manchester City and it has been Van Dijk's influence across the back four that has been game-changing.

Not only has he delivered the type of form that makes him favourite for the PFA Player of the Year award but he has drastically improved those around him.

Players like Joe Gomez, Andrew Robertson and Dejan Lovren have all improved their games while playing alongside Liverpool's record signing.

Van Dijk's superb season

In fact, former Liverpool Didi Hamann has considered him the world's best since November, noting: "The guy is an absolute monster, the best centre back in the world.

"What he does to the players around him, he makes them better. Gomez plays like a seasoned pro, he's only a young lad, he's missed a lot of football with injuries."

Too right and Van Dijk has been praised for numerous facets of his game including: dominance in the air, raw physicality, leadership skills and passing from the back.

AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool FC - Premier League

Van Dijk racing the PL's fastest

However, perhaps one of the most simple attributes at Van Dijk's disposal is his pace and it has seen prove an equal for some of the Premier League's speediest forwards.

A high maximum sprint speed can save defenders plenty of worry and also gives the full-backs the freedom to push forward regardless of the opposition's pace.

And a new YouTube video has compiled all of Van Dijk's major sprint races this season, claiming to show that the 27-year-old has only been beaten once.

Although fans might be familiar with some of the clips, it really puts the attribute into perspective when Van Dijk is rivalling players renowned for their speed.

Check out the video down below (starts at 0:21): 

Blink and you'll miss him.

Matching Adama Traore, Willian and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang twice is quite the achievement in the space of just five months.

And the only forward to beat him for pace actually came in pre-season, although the Liverpool man can be somewhat forgiven when Leroy Sane holds the Premier League record for speed.

The Manchester City winger set an unrivalled top speed of 22.05 mph during the 1-0 win over Chelsea last season but was matched by Van Dijk until the very last minute.

Liverpool FC v Manchester City - Premier League

Nevertheless, regardless that singular defeat, Van Dijk has already proven his worth against some of the very fastest and the opposition will have to think twice about playing a long ball.

EA Sports will also have to revise the decision to give Van Dijk a pace rating of just 71, meaning Antonio Rudiger, Eric Bailly and Davinson Sanchez are currently deemed quicker.

At the moment, though, Van Dijk is keeping pace with some of FIFA's fastest ever stars.

Who do you think is the Premier League's fastest player? Have your say in the comments section below.

Topics:
Football
Adama Traore
Leroy Sane
Virgil van Dijk
Willian Borges da Silva
Jurgen Klopp
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Liverpool

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