Netherlands winger Steven Bergwijn has described Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk as “an absolute beast” and is loving playing alongside the powerful centre-back with the national team.
Bergwijn enjoyed a sublime 2018-19 campaign with PSV and was among the most valuable players in the Eredivisie last term with 14 goals and 12 assists in 33 appearances.
Only Dusan Tadic, Luuk de Jong, Hakim Ziyech and Abdenasser El Khayati were involved in more goals, and Bergwijn was rewarded for his fine performances with an international call-up in October 2018, making his senior debut in a 3-0 Nations League win over Germany.
The 21-year-old has since gone on to make seven appearances for Netherlands and was part of the squad that lost the final of the Nations League to Portugal.
Teaming up with some of the world’s best has proven to be beneficial for Bergwijn’s development as he has attracted the interest of some of the continent’s elite clubs, with Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Inter and Tottenham all among the teams believed to be keeping tabs on him.
Although Bergwijn was quick to stress he learns from all of his team-mates at international level, there is no denying that Van Dijk is his standout compatriot, being one of the best defenders in the world.
“Van Dijk is an absolute beast,” Bergwijn told Goal and Voetbalzone.
“Of course, it is good to be able to measure myself against him in training with the national team.
“But not just Virgil, they all play for massive clubs. I learn from all of them really. They all have a lot of experience and almost everyone plays for a big club.”
Van Dijk’s stellar 2018-19 campaign has led to calls for the Liverpool centre-back to become the first defender to win the Ballon d’Or since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006, although he faces stiff competition from club team-mates Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, as well as Barcelona ace Lionel Messi among others.
Liverpool’s competitive season begins on August 4 with a Community Shield clash against champions Manchester City before hosting Norwich on August 9 to kick off the 2019-20 Premier League season.