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Virgil van Dijk claims Ajax defender Jurrien Timber is better than he was at the same age

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Virgil van Dijk has heaped praise on Jurrien Timber and claims the Ajax centre-back is better than he was at the same age.

Timber quickly established himself as a regular under Erik ten Hag at Ajax and the Manchester United manager was keen to bring the 21-year-old with him to Old Trafford in the summer.

Ajax were reluctant to let Timber leave and demanded a fee in excess of £40 million for their highly rated defender.

Timber is now competing for a place in Louis van Gaal's squad for Netherlands' World Cup campaign in Qatar later this year.

Van Dijk, who has established himself as one of the world's best defenders since joining Liverpool, believes Timber has all the qualities to become one of the elite.

'I wasn't nearly as far along as he is now ,' Van Dijk said of Timber.

Timber's emergence has now put pressure on Matthijs de Ligt and Stefan de Vrij and Van Dijk insists Van Gaal has made the situation clear to his squad. 'I think everyone knows their role at the moment,' said the Liverpool centre-back.

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