Van de Ven hopes to replicate van Dijk’s centre-back status

Netherlands defender Micky Van de Ven hopes to replicate compatriot Virgil van Dijk to become one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League.

And Tottenham’s 22-year-old summer signing feels his burgeoning partnership at the heart of the Spurs defence alongside Argentine World Cup winner Christian Romero will help him achieve his goal.

“I think Virgil was the last couple of years and this year also one of the best defenders in the Premier League, for sure,” said Van de Ven, as Tottenham prepare to host Van Dijk’s Liverpool on Saturday (17:30 BST).

“That is my ambition to be one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League and I will work hard for it to make it happen.”

On his partnership with Romero he added: “I think it naturally happened on the pitch and we felt each other quite fast.

“I think I know what Cuti’s (Romero’s) qualities are and Cuti knows what my qualities are, so we know what we expect from each other. I have his back and he has my back.

“Cuti is just an amazing player and I know when I run in one direction, he is in my back because he is always there. We just feel each other and of course it is amazing when you have this as a centre-back duo.

“I think I make him maybe more calm and he makes me more aggressive. He will (always) be a more aggressive player and I am a more calm player, but it fits each other well.”

On testing that partnership against in-form Liverpool, Van de Ven added: “We are going to play our own way and play like we want to play. We don’t have fear for Liverpool.”

(BBC Sport)

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