Everton v Liverpool: Richarlison names three defenders 'better' than Virgil van Dijk

Everton's Richarlison is refusing to fawn over Virgil van Dijk

Everton striker Richarlison has kickstarted the war of words between the Toffees and Liverpool ahead of Sunday's Merseyside derby.

The Brazilian striker believes there are three defenders in world football who are currently superior to the Reds' Virgil van Dijk.

It's a bold statement, especially given the fact that the Dutchman was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year last season and finished second in the 2019 Ballon d'Or rankings.

However, Richarlison still isn't convinced and says he believes there are three defenders still active in the game who are better than Van Dijk.

We get the feeling there's a little bit - sorry, enormous amount - of bias here from Everton's talisman.

"People talk a lot about him [Van Dijk], yes he is a great defender but I’ve already dribbled past him," Richarlison said in an interview with Desimpedidos, per Mirror.

"He was chosen as one of the top three in the world as he had an excellent season. But yes, for me there are better defenders."

Richarlison in action

When asked to name the three defenders he believed to be superior to Van Dijk, Richarlison replied: "Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos."

Two international teammates and a defender who is seen as public enemy number one in the eyes of Liverpool fans? We see what you're doing, Richarlison.

The debate between Ramos and Van Dijk has been prominent for some time now and to be fair to the Everton man, siding with the Spaniard is fair game.

But Marquinhos and an ageing Silva over the Liverpool man? Not for us.

Marquinhos in action

The Merseyside derby on the weekend could see the Reds and Van Dijk edge ever closer to the Premier League title.

But thanks to Manchester City's 3-0 win over Arsenal on Wednesday evening, Liverpool cannot secure the title at the home of their bitter rivals.

Imagine the scenes on social media if Richarlison scores the winner on Sunday courtesy of a Van Dijk mistake...

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