(Reuters) – Liverpool centre back Virgil van Dijk was named Player of the Year by England’s Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) on Sunday, becoming the fourth player from the Netherlands to win the award.
The 27-year-old has transformed Liverpool’s defence since joining the club from Southampton in January last year and has helped the title-chasing Merseysiders keep 19 clean sheets in the Premier League this season.
He topped a six-man shortlist, voted for by PFA members from the 92 Premier and Football League clubs, beating Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva as well as team mate Sadio Mane and Chelsea forward Eden Hazard.
Dutch international Van Dijk is the second Liverpool player in a row to win the award after forward Mohamed Salah last year and joins compatriots Dennis Bergkamp, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Robin van Persie in claiming the honour.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Ken Ferris)