Southampton coach Claude Puel has heaped praise on Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk.

  • By Michael Bell
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dijk-van-sThe Dutchman has been in outstanding form for Southampton so far this season and netted in the Europa League win over Inter Milan in midweek.

Speaking ahead of their game with Hull City, Saints boss Claude Puel believes van Dijk has improved greatly since the start of the season and thinks he is close to becoming one of the best centre backs in football.

Puel said, ¬†“I think Virgil, since the beginning of the season has made progress.¬†Virgil has improved both technically and tactically as well, in the duel he is fantastic.

“For me, he has all of the qualities to become one of the best defenders in the world, there is no problem for this, Virgil has the answer – he must continue his work to continue his progress.

“It has been a new thing for him this season to defend with 50 or 60 metres behind him, and it is difficult to leave that space.

“For me, it is important to defend at a high level, especially when we play against a great team with strikers who are very fast, it is important to be able to anticipate all of the possibilities of the opponent.”

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