It’s rare that defenders get “the credit they deserve,” but Virgil Van Dijk has been winning plaudits — and points for Liverpool — all season long, culminating in being named the PFA Player of the Year on Sunday.
Perhaps no player in the world has had a greater impact over his first 18 months at a new club, as the Reds’ defense has gone from comical liability prior to his arrival, to conceding a league-low 20 goals through the first 36 games of their ongoing Premier League title race with Manchester City.
“It’s pretty difficult to put into words. I think it’s the highest honor 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 honored to receive it.”
Raheem Sterling, who’s arguably been the best player for Man City and the best attacker in the PL this season, was beaten out by Van Dijk for the senior award but still took home the Young Player of the Year award after racking up 17 goals and 10 assists in league play.
Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema was named the female Player of the Year, while a fellow Man City star, Georgia Stanway, joined Sterling with Young Player honors.