Virgil van Dijk will one day stand alongside the likes of John Barnes and Alan Hansen as an all-time great at Liverpool, says Jamie Redknapp, with the Dutch defender considered to have transformed the Reds.
It was the arrival of the Netherlands international during the winter transfer window of 2018 that saw Jurgen Klopp find the final piece of the puzzle.
With Van Dijk leading from the back, Liverpool went on to savour Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup triumphs in 2019.
A first Premier League title, which would end a 30-year barren front on that front, is also within reach for Liverpool as they seek to make 2020 just as memorable.
Redknapp expects more major honours to roll in, with the Reds’ class of 2019-20 proving that they deserve to be held in the same regard as the iconic performers that went before them at Anfield.
“The names in that great Liverpool team of 1987-88 roll off the tongue,” former Reds midfielder Redknapp told the Daily Mail.
“John Barnes, Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge, Alan Hansen, Ray Houghton and so on. They went unbeaten in their opening 29 league games and became champions of England.
“The Liverpool team of 2019-20 are on their way to clinching that title, too, and their success has been built from the back.
“They’ve got a safe pair of hands in Alisson, two fearless full backs in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, then at the centre of this operation they’ve got him. Mr Virgil van Dijk.
“Anyone could play alongside the Dutchman in defence and they’d look good. I’ve never known one player to transform a team the way he has.
“In 30 years’ time, his will be one of the first names that rolls off our tongues too.”
The efforts of Liverpool and Van Dijk this season may not have them match the achievements of 1987-88 just yet, but they are unbeaten through 21 games this term – collecting 20 wins and 61 points - and have made the best start to a domestic campaign that European football’s elite divisions have ever seen.
They will be back in action on Sunday when putting their impressive record on the line against arch-rivals Manchester United.