Virgil van Dijk beats Raheem Sterling to Player of the Year crown

Van Dijk has been credited with transforming Liverpool's defence into one capable of challenging for the title since his £75 million move from Southampton last January. The club has the best defensive record in the league, conceding a measly 20 goals throughout the campaign.

That change in the team and his own personal performance have led to a lot of plaudits coming the former Celtic defender's way, and understandably so.

Centre-back Van Dijk is joined by Reds team-mate Sadio Mane on the list, while England forward Sterling is included alongside fellow City players Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva.

The Dutch defender has been exceptional in the Liverpool defence all season, and has helped inspire Jurgen Klopp's side to their highest ever Premier League points tally while playing alongside a variety of centre-back partners, including Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez.

According to the Daily Mail that is due to happen with Van Dijk set to be named the PFA Player's Player of the Year on Thursday, beating City's Raheem Sterling.

The ceremony for the 2019 PFA Awards will be held at the in London on 28 April.

Other Liverpool players to have been awarded the honour are Luis Suarez (2013-14), Steven Gerrard (2005-06), John Barnes (1987-88), Ian Rush (1983-84), Kenny Dalglish (1982-83) and Terry McDermott (1979-80).

Van Dijk's win thus continues Liverpool's claim over the award for the second consecutive year.

"Van Dijk has been the missing piece of the jigsaw for Liverpool", Whelan said.

On the previous two occasions Reds players have picked up the award the Premier League title has gone to the Etihad.

The unflappable Dutchman has pipped Raheem Sterling to the award.

The PFA's rules state that to qualify for Young Player of the Year, a player must be no older than 23 years old at the start of the season.

  • Angelo Rivera