Virgil van Dijk has sounded an ominous warning to Liverpool’s rivals, with the commanding Dutch defender claiming that he can get even better.
The 28-year-old has been a colossus at the heart of the Reds’ defence since securing a record-breaking £75 million ($93m) move to Anfield in January 2018.
For many, the signing of Van Dijk was the final piece in the puzzle for Liverpool as they sought to end their long wait for major silverware.
So impressive has he been that he is the reigning UEFA Player of the Year, the 2019 Ballon d’Or runner-up and a talent that many now consider to be the world’s best in his chosen position.
Van Dijk, though, believes there is even more to come from him, telling BT Sport: “There is always room for improvement; I know it and I just try to keep looking for it and keep working on it.
“With the help of all my team-mates and obviously the manager, and also the manager of the national team – Ronald Koeman – that will definitely help me get better even now. So, I just keep doing that.”
Van Dijk has thrived under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and taken the captain’s armband for his country since Koeman took the reins.
He feels such heights have been scaled due the expectation and demands of his coaches, with everybody at Anfield embracing the fact that hard work delivers tangible reward.
“To be absolutely honest, in the first six months that I joined we had more training sessions,” Van Dijk said of his experience on Merseyside.
“It was intense, there were a lot of different things that were going to be asked of me. And I enjoyed it, I enjoyed it a lot – the hard work, the discussions that I had with certain players about the way Liverpool, the way we, play.
“The manager demands a lot from me and it all helped me become the player I am today.
“It’s a lot of tactical work, a lot of thinking. Obviously as a defender we try to keep a high line, try to put the opponent under pressure at all times. You leave a lot of space sometimes behind you so you had to deal with that as well.
“But it’s something I definitely enjoy and I knew before I joined the club this is something I had to work on in the beginning but it would definitely be something that I enjoy. And so far, so good.”