- 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|
*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.
TEAM! 🔥 What a great night it was for all of us Reds. Last 8 here we come! pic.twitter.com/z5q6ww6VPW
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) March 14, 2019
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.
Sergio Aguero is just unreal.
Coming up clutch. Again. pic.twitter.com/GJzPlt7pzt
— VERSUS (@vsrsus) March 16, 2019
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.
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) March 12, 2019
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)