Virgil van Dijk’s composure and class remind Sander Westerveld of the qualities Sami Hyypia brought to the Liverpool team he played in.

Former Reds goalkeeper Westerveld counted Hyypia as a teammate during his successful Anfield career.

And the Dutchman feels the way his countryman Van Dijk performs for the club’s current side is reminiscent of one of his predecessors in the No.4 shirt.

“Sami and Virgil are pretty similar,” Westerveld told

“Look at the way when Sami first came in and straight away he made a difference. Sami played in Holland before he came to Liverpool and he learned to play with his feet, which is what Virgil can do.

“All the good things you have about Virgil, Sami had as well and it gave me confidence as a goalkeeper to have someone like that in front of me.

“Even if you couldn’t come for a cross you knew Sami would be there to always help you out. He would never panic, he would take his time – he was everything you want in a defender, which is what we have now and what we had in Sami.”

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On Van Dijk, Westerveld continued: “All the credit to him. When he came to Liverpool there was such big pressure on him. Yes, he played for Celtic and Southampton, but Liverpool is just a special club.

“Scoring a goal on his debut in the Merseyside derby helped and straight from day one I think he made a difference. He plays almost perfect in every match, every week. Even if he makes a mistake, we still win games.

“I called Alisson the perfect goalkeeper and Virgil is the perfect defender. He has got everything you need and I hope he can stay at Liverpool for 10 more years.”

Another Netherlands international enjoying an impressive season is Georginio Wijnaldum.

Westerveld added: “Gini is one of those guys like a Dirk Kuyt who you see in the commercials with the batteries and the rabbits that just go on and on!

“He is just an amazing player and he has showed that during the last couple of years at Liverpool just how important he is, and you can see when he is not playing how important he is.

“Talking about what you need in midfield, he is ticking all of the boxes and at the moment he is amazing.”

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