Virgil Van Dijk a worthy Player of the Year for a strengthened Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk, as widely predicted, was crowned PFA Player of the Year 2018/19 last night at the annual players' celebration.

Voted for by his fellow professionals, the 27 year old Dutch defender, ensures that the reds have back to back players of the year for the first time since Dalgish and Rush won it in 1983 and 1984.

He is the first defender to win the award for 14 years, highlighting the rarity with which the art of defence is commended by fellow footballers.

In the 16 months since his £75M arrival, after a long pursuit by the reds, he has bolstered the reds defence.  Improved his playing partners and undoubtedly formed an impressive unit alongside fellow new team arrivals Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and of course Alisson Becker.

The reds have kept 20 clean sheets so far from the 36 league games and will set a club points record in the English top flight.  Elsewhere the reds have also reached the Champions League semi-final.

Van Dijk was clearly overjoyed at the award

"It's the highest honour you can get as a player to get voted player of the year by the players you play against every week.

"It's special. I'm very proud and honoured to receive it."

Virgil becomes Liverpool's 8th winner of the award since its introduction in 1974.

Mo Salah, last year's winner, was one of the first players to comment on social media about his teammate.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Sadio Mane were named in the Team of the Year and also collected their trophies at the event.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said 'You're the man' and expressed his pride to be talking about another Liverpool player scooping the award.

'Virgil van Dijk.  Who would have thought that when he started back in Holland. Not everyone saw immediately what kind of player hides in this giant body.  But I'm really happy I can be around that development.

I would love to think that is because of me... but obviously its not.

He was the player he is now when we bought him for a very very small price from Southampton, and it all worked out.

I remember when we met first and all that stuff and from the first moment I was very excited to work together with you, and now you are the man, at least for this season.

He then turned to all four LFC players who were named in the team of the year.

You all (all 4 players in the team of the year) agree there could have been 5 or 6 more players in the team of year with Liverpool shirts on.

Have a good night, I can't be there because somebody has to stay here working.  Come back healthy and let's got to Barcelona.'

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