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Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk hails young defender with “great future ahead of him”

Niklas Sule

Virgil van Dijk has praised Bayern Munich centre-back Niklas Sule, claiming that the 24-year-old is among his favourite centre-backs.

The two defenders came face-to-face when the Netherlands beat Germany 4-2 in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Friday.

Sule has become Bayern (opens in new tab)'s leading centre-half this season after Mats Hummels returned to Borussia Dortmund (opens in new tab) in the summer.

And Van Dijk, who recently beat Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award for 2018/19, believes Sule is a highly gifted player.

“I’ve been watching Sule’s development for a long time,” the Liverpool (opens in new tab) man said. "I’ve played against him often, he is a very talented defender. Süle has a great future ahead of him. He plays for a big club and is already a cornerstone there.”

After a 4-0 thrashing of Estonia on Monday, the Netherlands sit third in Group C - although they have played one fewer game than Germany and Northern Ireland.

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Greg Lea
Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).