first_imgVirgil van Dijk has won a lot of admirers in the short space of time he has been a Premier League player.Having joined Southampton from Celtic in a £13m transfer in 2015, the 25-year-old defender has maintained the impressive displays he showed in Scotland.Liverpool were linked with a £50m deal for him and it’s something former captain Steven Gerrard even welcomed.WHY VAN DIJK IS SO POPULAR“I’d love to see him in a red shirt. I’m a huge fan,” he said.“I thought he was fantastic at Celtic and I thought we should have had a go for him back then.”Is Van Dijk among the top five best Dutch players to have played in the Premier League in the last 10 years? thinks so. 5 2. Robin van Persie – Imagine how many goals a fit Robin van Persie would have scored? The striker only managed to play more than 30 Premier League games in a season twice, but he was still vital to both Arsenal and Man United. Alex Ferguson spent £25m on him in 2012 after he scored 30 goals for the Gunners to win the Golden Boot and both Player of the Year awards, and he repaid Fergie with 26 goals, another Golden Boot and the Premier League title in the boss’ final season in charge at Old Trafford. 5. Virgil van Dijk – Is Van Dijk among the top five best Dutch footballers to have played in the Premier League in the last 10 years? thinks so. The Southampton defender has been so good that he is rated in the £50m bracket. “I thought he was fantastic at Celtic,” says Steven Gerrard, “and I thought Liverpool should have had a go for him back then.” The 25-year-old has been a Premier League player since moving to the south coast in 2015 for £13m, and won a lot of admirers since then. 4. Rafael van der Vaart – Van der Vaart only had two seasons in the Premier League, but what a couple of years they were. It was big news when Spurs signed the Real Madrid forward in an £8m deadline day deal as the club made their Champions League debut. “Tottenham is still in my heart,” he told the club in a 2016 interview and the player is still fondly remembered by fans, as you’ll see if you pop into any pub or chippy around White Hart Lane where faces light up at the mention of Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart playing in the same time. The Dutchman scored 24 goals in 63 Premier League games as well as providing 15 assists during his time in England. 5 5 5 1. Edwin van der Sar – Van der Sar retired from playing in 2011, but was vital to the 2008 Champions League final as well as three Premier League titles. He is one of the clubs’ greatest goalkeepers, but didn’t actually sign for the club until he was 34. United spent £2m on him and Sir Alex Ferguson has called him one of his best signings. “We really should have gone for him when Schmeichel left [in 1999]” he said. 3. Dirk Kuyt – Kuyt left Liverpool in 2012 having been there for six years during which time he scored 71 goals in 285 games. He worked his backside off for the team and the fact he scored so many crucial goals means he is one of Liverpool fans’ favourite players of recent times. There was the late goal to knock Man United out of the FA Cup in 2012, the decisive penalty against Chelsea in the 2007 Champions League semi-final shoot-out and two goals against Everton to seal a Merseyside derby win at Goodison in 2007. Let’s not forget a hat-trick against United in 2011, the winner against Standard Liege in 2008 or the goal against Cardiff in the 2012 League Cup final. 5last_img

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