Virgil van Dijk is “top of the list” when it comes to centre-half talent in the Premier League, admits Caglar Soyuncu, with the Leicester defender looking to take important lessons from a Liverpool title winner.
Many have a talismanic presence at Anfield in the number one spot when it comes to defensive talent in the world game.
That is because Van Dijk has starred not only on a domestic stage, but also in Champions League and Club World Cup triumphs for the Reds.
His arrival on Merseyside has coincided with a record-setting return to prominence for Liverpool, with the Netherlands international considered to have been a final piece in the puzzle for Jurgen Klopp.
Soyuncu forms part of Van Dijk’s ever-growing fan club, with the Turkish star prepared to admit that he can learn plenty from those he lines up against on a regular basis in the English top flight.
The highly-rated 24-year-old told Sky Sports: "I always watch and learn from other players.
"There are so many great defenders in this league. I wouldn't limit myself to only watching one or two teams and their players, there are so many quality players in the Premier League and I try to watch and learn from many others.
"There are so many good centre-backs playing in this league but I have to say Van Dijk is top of that list and where they [are] in the league and how he's done shows that."
Soyuncu is rapidly climbing the centre-half rankings himself, with there suggestions that he could be targeted by Manchester City as the Blues seek to find a long-term successor to Vincent Kompany.
Ilkay Gundogan, one of those already on the books at the Etihad Stadium, has claimed that the Leicester star is only behind Van Dijk when it comes to the cream of the Premier League crop – with the German ranking the Turk ahead of the likes of Harry Maguire and Aymeric Laporte.
"I agree I'm having a very good season. It's been great so far," Soyuncu added.
"Every time I play, I get better, I believe that. So to hear such good things from a player like Ilkay is very flattering. He's a great player himself."
For now, Soyuncu’s focus is locked on the present, rather than the future, with Leicester in the process of trying to rediscover a spark that will allow them to wrap up a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.