Manchester City would be 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League if they had Virgil van Dijk, former Arsenal ace Paul Merson claims. Liverpool boast a 25 point lead at the top of the Premier League ahead of City, with games currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Liverpool have overtaken City as the dominant force in English football.
Van Dijk, who joined Liverpool from Southampton in 2017 for £75m, has been instrumental under Jurgen Klopp.
And Merson says City would be miles ahead of Liverpool and co. if they had Van Dijk.
The pundit was asked for his player of the year verdict, with Merson leaning towards Liverpool’s Sadio Mane. However, Merson was also full of praise for Van Dijk.
He told Sky Sports: “It’s got to be Sadio Mane for me.
“Mane is the player who has been Liverpool’s go-to man at special times in the season.
“He’s performed and got big goals in big games. He’s the one for me.
“Virgil van Dijk would be a close second – if he was at Manchester City, they would be 10 points clear. That’s how much he is worth.
“Obviously Kevin De Bruyne has been brilliant, but it’s hard to give it to someone who is 25 points behind someone else.
“If you’re asking me which player I want to watch the most in the Premier League, it’s Jack Grealish! But he isn’t getting player of the year. It’s different.”
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Merson’s Sky Sports colleague Matt Le Tissier agreed about Mane winning player of the year, with the Southampton hero hailing the Liverpool winger.
He added: “The player of the season so far is a tough one. You look through the team and look at the quality of the players in there.
“There is a reasonable shout for most of them.
“Given what Liverpool have done and how far ahead they are, it has to be one of those players.
“Because of the amount of crucial goals he has scored, I would put Mane up there.
“He has been a key player in what Liverpool have done and made a difference on so many occasions, so he would get the nod.”
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