Sami Hyypia: Van Dijk is the ultimate centre-back

It’s a partnership only possible in Liverpool fans’ imaginations but Sami Hyypia would have relished the chance to play alongside Virgil van Dijk.

The former Reds defender secured legendary status during his decade at Anfield by helping the club to six major trophies, including the 2001 treble and glory in Istanbul, with his formidable presence and eye for goal.

Van Dijk is attempting to achieve similar feats as part of the current squad, who will resume quests for Premier League and Champions League success next week, and Hyypia believes the No.4 is the ‘ultimate centre-back’.

“I saw it right away when he came that he would be a very important part of the team,” the Finn – who is set to represent Liverpool FC Legends against Milan Glorie on March 23 – told Press Association Sport.

“Straightaway he was organising the defence, he was the leader at the back, and as time has gone on he is even more important. He gives confidence to the players and makes many other players play better.

“It is very difficult to find a weakness. He is an ultimate centre-back and it would be a pleasure to play alongside him he is so good.

“He is so calm on the ball, he never seems in a hurry and he trusts his skills on the ball. It was the right decision [to sign him] because he is so important for the team, it doesn’t matter how much he cost.”