The Dutchman put in another standout display on Wednesday as Liverpool knocked Bayern Munich out of the Champions League with a 3-1 win in Germany, Van Dijk scoring his side’s second of the night.
Johnson was left impressed by the centre-back’s composure, which has been key to another impressive European run as the Reds await Friday’s quarter-final draw after finishing as runners-up in the competition last season.
“As a player you don’t want to see others around you panicking and that’s one thing I’ve never seen him do,” Johnson toldtalkSPORT.
“When players see him as calm as he is in every situation, it rubs off and everyone puffs themselves out as well.
“There’s going to be many times in the Champions League you’ll come up against world-class strikers, and he’s the player you need to put them to sleep.
“I would’ve liked to have him at Liverpool [when I was there].
“But, to be fair, we did have top centre-halves at the time as well. We had [Daniel] Agger and [Martin] Skrtel.
“This guy has taken it to another level. He’s so good on the ball, so calm, big and strong – there’s not really a weakness in his game at the moment.”
Thedraw for the Champions League quarter-finalsand semi-finals takes place in Nyon on Friday at 11am, with Liverpool one of four Premier League representatives alongside Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.