Sam Allardyce believes Harry Maguire is 'similar' to Virgil van Dijk

Cheltenham Town v Leicester City - Pre-Season Friendly

Virgil van Dijk could become the first defender to win the Ballon d’Or since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.

The Dutchman has transformed Liverpool’s defence since his £75 million arrival in January 2018, establishing himself as the best defender in world football.

His incredible performances saw Liverpool reach 97 points in the Premier League last season, agonisingly missing out on ultimate glory.

But The Reds did claim their sixth European Cup by beating Tottenham 2-0 in Madrid with Van Dijk marshalling the defence superbly.

At the time of his signing, £75 million seemed a crazy amount to spend on Van Dijk.

But now, it looks like a bargain.

And it seems to have prompted Liverpool’s rivals, Manchester United, spend a similar amount on a central defender in an attempt to transform their own defence.

United have identified Harry Maguire as that man and are close to securing an £80 million deal for the Leicester defender.

Cambridge United v Leicester City - Pre-Season Friendly

But is Maguire worth even more than a potential Ballon d’Or winner?

Well, one man thinks he might actually be.

That man is former England manager Sam Allardyce.

Speaking on talkSPORT, Allardyce claimed that Maguire is similar to Van Dijk and moving to Old Trafford would take him to another level.

“I think he’s worth £70m – £75m," Allardyce claimed.

“He’s similar to Van Dijk, he’s very good on the ball and he comes out from the back.

“Van Dijk looks a little better since he’s gone to Liverpool and I think it would take Maguire to another level going to Manchester United and bring more out of him.

Leicester City v Chelsea FC - Premier League

“It would be a massive move for him, but Leicester, they don’t have to sell.

“They’ve always hung out for the fee they want and got there in the end, so if United don’t have another alternative, I’m afraid they might have to pay a bit more than they expected.”

It’s fair to say plenty of football fans were quick to question Allardyce’s comments:

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