Everton forward Richarlison has taken a dig at Liverpool superstar Virgil van Dijk ahead of the Merseyside derby in the Premier League.

Richarlison has said “there are better” defenders than Van Dijk even though the Liverpool player is arguably the best among the present players.

The Premier League, earlier this week, resumed after it was suspended for three months in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Liverpool, who are two wins away from securing the title, are set to take on Everton at Goodison Park in their returning match. The first leg of the Merseyside derby was played December at Anfield where the Reds had thrashed Everton 5-2.

If Liverpool defeat Everton on Sunday and manage to bag another three points in their next fixture, which is against Crystal Palace at home, Jurgen Klopp’s side will become the first Liverpool team to lift the first league title in as long as 30 years.

Everton’s Richarlison has scored 12 goals in 31 matches this season across all tournaments, including 10 in the Premier League. As Liverpool and Everton are gearing up for their upcoming encounter, the 23-year-old striker has mocked one of Liverpool’s best players – Van Dijk, who is known for his strength, leadership, and aerial prowess.

“People talk a lot about him, yes he is a great defender but I’ve already dribbled past him. He was chosen as one of the top three in the world as he had an excellent season. But yes, for me there are better defenders,” Richarlison told Desimpedidos.

When the Brazilian youngster was asked who he thought were better defenders than Van Dijk, he picked the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) duo of Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, and Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.

Double Dutch: Virgil van Dijk (right) scored both Liverpool's goals in a 2-1 win over Brighton
Liverpool FC AFP / Paul ELLIS

Earlier, Liverpool senior midfielder James Milner had ranked Van Dijk in the top four defenders he has played with during his career.

“He’s right up there. I’ve been very fortunate to have played with some amazing center-halves. You look at Rio [Ferdinand], Jonathan Woodgate, Vinny Kompany, and Virg is right in there with all those guys. He reads the game so well, he’s quick, he’s strong, he’s good on the ball, he’s a good communicator and he’s deadly in the air,” Milner, who made his first-team debut in 2002, said in a recent interview.

“And his positioning is so good. You can see that after the game when you look at how far players have run. He’s run miles less than everyone else, even the other center-halves, and you think ‘how is that possible?’ but it’s because he reads the game so well,” added Milner who went on to term van Dijk as "La rock" in Liverpool’s defense.