Van Dijk hailed ‘best in the world’ as Ferdinand names his top five centre-backs

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Rio Ferdinand has named Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk as one of the top five centre-backs in Premier League history and believes he is "the best in the world right now."

Van Dijk has been integral to Liverpool's success since his £75m move from Southampton, helping Jurgen Klopp's men to Champions League and Premier League glory.

Manchester United legend Ferdinand is a big fan of the Dutchman and believes he is one of the best defenders to ever grace the Premier League.

Speaking on the Beautiful Game Podcast, Ferdinand said: "I love him. I think he's the best in the world right now.

Virgil van Dijk may have a new defensive partner at Liverpool next season

Rio Ferdinand is a big fan of Virgil van Dijk

Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic helped Man Utd to plenty of success

Ferdinand named Van Dijk as one of the top five Premier League defenders of all-time, along with his former team-mate Nemanja Vidic

"He's undoubtedly a top player but I think he's not fighting against the depth of other central defenders that was in my era.

"If we were talking about top drawer centre-halves, I could name five, six, seven, eight, nine in my era, whereas I don't think I could fill my whole hand in this era.

"And that's no disrespect [to the current defenders] but we're talking about top players here.

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Ex-Man City captain Vincent Kompany also made the list

Ferdinand also included John Terry on the list

Sol Campbell rounded out Ferdinand's top five

"Though I think in any era, he looks like a top player."

When asked to name his top five defenders in Premier League history, Ferdinand included Van Dijk, saying: "If I was naming my top five centre-halves, I think [Nemanja] Vidic, [Vincent] Kompany, [John] Terry, Van Dijk and [Sol] Campbell. They would be my five."

However, Ferdinand did add that he would be interested to see how Van Dijk played against a team which started two strikers up front as opposed to the more common lone striker system most clubs use nowadays.

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"The game's a bit different now," he added. "The only thing I would like to see him [do] is play against two strikers. To see him up against two players and see him do 1v1 all the way through the ninety minutes, week to week.

"When I was playing, you were playing against two strikers all the time. Whereas now you've got one striker and two wide men, leaving the full-backs to take care of the wide men and you've got two people taking care of one player.

"So you get time to breathe, time to relax a little bit and let your partner handle him for a little bit. I would like to see him in that environment. But I think he would still handle it."

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