Southampton boss Claude Puel has lauded the impact of defender Virgil van Dijk ahead of this weekend’s trip to Hull City.
Van Dijk turned in yet another impressive display against Internazionale, which included scoring the equaliser to set up a famous victory.
And Puel believes he can become of one of the best defenders in the world if he keeps improving at his current rate.
Puel said: “I think Virgil since the beginning of the season can make progress and also I think the play is different to the last year.
“Last year he could defend with strong work back on the pitch and for him this year is different because sometimes he has to defend with 50 or 60 meters behind him.
“It is a new thing and that is difficult because it is hard to defend with the feeling to leave the space behind you, but it is important for me to have a high level.
“Virgil has also improved tactically and is fantastic in the duel."
for me, he has all of the qualities to be one of the best defenders in the world.claude puel
He added: “For me he has all the qualities to be one of the best defenders in the world. No problem for this.
“I think now it is important he has this ambition to become a great player and one of the best centre backs in the world.
“At the moment in the Premier League, and for the next the world.
“He has all the qualities, he make progress every game and it is important he continues this work.”