Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk remains Danny Murphy’s pick for Player of the Season despite Raheem Sterling’s excellent campaign for Manchester City.
The City winger netted a hat-trick against Watford to keep Pep Guardiola’s men top of the Premier League, one point ahead of Sterling’s former club Liverpool.
Last week, England boss Gareth Southgate backed Sterling for this season’s personal accolades on talkSPORT, and the 24-year-old continues to strengthen his case.
Nonetheless, former Reds midfielder Murphy believes Van Dijk has still been this season’s standout performer.
“It’s still Van Dijk for me,” Murphy told Jim White on talkSPORT.
“But I think what Sterling showed on Saturday is that he’s sharp, he’s fit, he’s hungry and he’s still flying.
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“If he carries on doing that until the end of the season, how many goals can he score?”
He added: “Sterling plays in all the big games, he produces more big moments in big games too.
“If City win the league, is Sterling’s contribution bigger because they’ve won the league? I’m not sure.
“If Liverpool or City miss out by a point, it wouldn’t detract from Sterling or Van Dijk’s fantastic season.”
Liverpool have kept 17 clean sheets in the Premier League so far this term – more than any other club – and Van Dijk has been credited with removing any vulnerability from a shaky defence following his Anfield arrival in January 2018.
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- Reading vs Leeds (Tuesday) – talkSPORT 2
- Bayern Munich vs Liverpool (Wednesday) – talkSPORT
- Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa (Wednesday) – talkSPORT 2
- Dynamo Kyiv vs Chelsea (Thursday) – talkSPORT 2
- Watford vs Crystal Palace (Saturday) – talkSPORT
- Leeds vs Sheffield United (Saturday) – talkSPORT 2
- West Ham vs Huddersfield (Saturday) – talkSPORT 2
- Swansea vs Manchester City (Saturday) – talkSPORT
- Wolves vs Manchester United (Saturday) – talkSPORT
- Millwall vs Brighton (Sunday) – talkSPORT 2
- Fulham vs Liverpool (Sunday) – talkSPORT
The Dutchman’s exploits this season have seen him labelled the world’s best defender by many, including Murphy.
He continued: “Although I think Van Dijk’s the best defender in the world and he’s had a sensational season, it’s always easier to destroy than create.”