Arsenal centre-back Sokratis has called for ‘more credit’ to be given to defenders following the ‘perfect’ year of Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.
The Dutch defender was named as the PFA Player’s Player of the Year following an imperious campaign for Jurgen Klopp’s side last season, helping the Liverpool lift the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup during a memorable 2019 for the 28-year-old.
Van Dijk also finished second to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in the voting for the Ballon d’Or in December, and Arsenal centre-back Sokratis believes the contribution of defensive stars should be more widely acknowledged with the individual accolades often bestowed upon their attacking counterparts.
“You’ve got very good defenders now,” he said on Arsenal’s website. “What Virgil van Dijk did last year was something very difficult for every defender to do.
“Last year for him was perfect, especially for all the people close to him who helped him a lot.
“He was very good and it was a good year for him. With the way football is going in front, especially when everybody thinks about offensive players and how they can score more.
“I think the defenders need to start getting more credit.”