The Liverpool defensive stalwart, who has been instrumental in his team’s title challenge this season, came to the club for a record $97 million transfer fee. He inherits the trophy from the 2018 winner and his club teammate, Mohamed Salah.
The award is the result of voting from the 92 Premier League and Football League clubs, and van Dijk said in an interview shortly after being named the 2019 winner that it was “the highest honor you can get as a player, to get voted player of the year by the players you play against, every week. It’s special.”
The award is made all the sweeter by the rarity of players in his position who have won it. In the 27-year history of Premier League, only two defenders, John Terry and Paul McGrath, have previously claimed the award.
“It’s special, definitely,” said 27-year-old van Dijk. “If you look at the standard of strikers we have in the league, of playmakers we have in the league, it’s unbelievable. If you see the shortlist, what kind of quality there is, it’s very special that players in the league voted for me. I won’t take it for granted but it’s very special.”
Van Dijk’s fellow Dutch star Miedema became the first Arsenal Ladies’ player since 2013 to be named women’s Player of the Year, and she paid tribute to her team which wrapped up the league title on Sunday with a 4-0 win over Brighton.
“I’m obviously really proud to represent my team here, we’ve had an amazing year, especially with winning the league,” she said.
“I’m just really happy I could help my team all season long with scoring goals and it means a lot,” referencing the 22 league goals she contributed this campaign.
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, who was also in the running for the main award, had to settle for the Young Player of the Year prize. He was joined by fellow City player Georgia Stanway.
The dominance of the two teams battling it out for the Premier League crown this year was underlined in the PFA’s team of the year, with Manchester City and Liverpool players securing every slot but one, which went to Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
PFA Awards results
PFA Player’s Player of the Year (Men’s): Virgil van Djik (Liverpool)
PFA Player’s Player of the Year (Women’s): Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women)
PFA Young Player of the Year (Men’s): Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
PFA Young Player of the Year (Women’s): Georgia Stanway (Manchester City Women)
PFA Special Achievement Award: Steph Houhgton (Manchester City Women)
Premier League Team of the Year: Ederson Moraes (Manchester City); Andy Robertson (Liverpool); Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City); Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool); Paul Pogba (Manchester United); Fernandinho (Manchester City); Bernardo Silva (Manchester City); Sadio Mané (Liverpool); Sergio Aguero (Manchester City); Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Women’s Super League Team of the Year: Sophie Baggaley (Bristol City Women); Demi Stokes (Manchester City Women); Aoife Mannion (Birmingham City Women); Steph Houghton (Manchester City Women); Hannah Blundell (Chelsea Women); Ji So-yun (Chelsea Women); Kim Little (Arsenal Women); Lia Wälti (Arsenal Women); Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea Women); Ellen White (Manchester City Women); Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women)