Liverpool Football Club defender Virgil van Dijk, has been named the PFA Player of the Year after beating Man City and England star Raheem Sterling to the prize.

The impressive performances of the Liverpool defender for the Reds this term have secured him a majority of his fellow professionals’ votes.

Shortlisted alongside Sadio Mane, Bernardo Silva, Eden Hazard and Sérgio Aguero, Van Dijk and Sterling were the clear favourites for this year’s gong.

Van Dijk has helped turn Liverpool into Premier League title contenders, Jürgen Klopp’s team boasting the best defensive record in the division this year.

Sterling, meanwhile, has continued his transformation into one of Europe’s most prolific wingers, netting 23 goals in 46 appearances

But it is Van Dijk who has clinched the honour, the Dutchman succeeding Anfield teammate Mohamed Salah as Player of the Year.

Speaking after the presentation, the Liverpool star said: “It’s unbelievable. To win this award, voted by the players you play against week in week out, is fantastic. It’s the highest honour you can get.

“It’s great to get recognition from other players. Defending is as important as attacking, and obviously tonight we have Trent and Robbo here as well.

“I try to play my game, read the game as well as I can. I don’t want to get in difficult situations so I let Robbo do the work.

“I like playing for Liverpool, I love playing for Liverpool, and I’m proud to wear the shirt.”

Source: Evening Standard