Upcoming Match-ups

Virgil van Dijk Favored to Win 2018-19 PFA Player of the Year

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool controls the ball before passing it back to his goalkeeper Alisson Becker. (Photo by David Blunsden/Actionplus/Icon Sportswire)
  • Virgil van Dijk is the odds-on favorite to win PFA Player of the Year honors
  • The Dutchman has transformed Liverpool’s fortunes
  • Liverpool’s reported £75 million investment has been money well spent

Liverpool’s English Premier League title charge has been coming for some time. While last season they were well off the pace – they finished 25 points behind the winners, Manchester City –  they significantly only lost five league games and made it to the 2018 UEFA Champions League final.

This season they have only lost twice in the Premier League and games that last season would have been drawn have regularly been turned into wins. Only the fine form of City has prevented them from running away with the title.

2018-19 PFA Player of the Year Award Odds

Who Will Win the 2018-19 PFA Player of the Year Award? Odds at BetOnline
Virgil van Dijk -220
FIELD +175

*Odds taken 03/19/19

At the heart of Liverpool’s charge has been one Virgil van Dijk and this is precisely the reason why he is favored to collect the PFA Player of the Season award for 2018-19 – an award that is voted for by his fellow EPL professionals.

The elegant Dutch defender has literally been at the heart of everything that is good about Liverpool this season and as captain of the side, he leads by example. It’s no coincidence that Liverpool’s upturn in fortunes have coincided with the arrival of van Dijk, who arrived on Merseyside in January 2018 from Southampton for a reported fee of £75 million.

Value for Huge Money

While it was a huge fee for a defender, the Reds will consider it money well spent. Prior to his arrival, Liverpool’s Achilles heel was their defense, and despite trying several combinations of center-backs, they conceded too many goals to compete regularly at the highest level.

The arrival of van Dijk’s has changed all that, and in their 31 games so far this season they have conceded just 18 goals, which is without doubt title-winning form. He leads the stats both in terms of his passing – although he’s a central defender he passes with the quality of a midfield “quarterback” – and also in successful aerial duels, which is the staple of a big center-back.

Award van Dyck’s to Lose

All of which makes a compelling argument for van Dijk to be voted the PFA’s Player of the Year, especially as it is well-known he is respected by his peers in the English game.

His main rivals for the award will likely be the Manchester City pair of Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, both of whom have had outstanding seasons as City fight for trophies on four fronts.

While the Carabao Cup is already in the bag, they have a UEFA Champions League quarterfinal against Tottenham coming up, an FA Cup semifinal against Brighton and will go top of the EPL if they win their game in hand over Liverpool, all with Aguero and Sterling leading the way.

City Duo to Push Him All the Way

For Aguero, it’s been very much the case of delivering this season what he has delivered consistently in a City shirt over the last four or five, but for Sterling – after a mixed World Cup and some unkind headlines – this has been his coming of age. Now 24-years-old, the England striker is fulfilling his huge potential on a regular basis.

Others in the mix are Liverpool striker Sadio Mane and City’s John Stones, but when all is said and done, it’s extremely hard to see past van Dijk, whose one-man mission to take the EPL title back to Merseyside for the first time since 1989 has captured the imagination.

Pick: Virgil van Dijk (-220)

Author Image

Once just a sports fanatic, fan-turned-writer Gary Gowers has been featured on European television and radio networks to discuss several professional football clubs. His work can be found in an assortment of publications like The Metro, MyFootballWriter.com, SBO.net, and BBC Radio Norfolk.