The Belgian veteran talked up his former rival’s impact at Liverpool, labelling him the best ever centre-half in the English top flight
Van Dijk, 28, has starred since his move from Southampton to Liverpool, for a reported £75 million ($93m), in January 2018.
The Netherlands international finished second to Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or last year, having helped Liverpool win the Champions League.
City great Kompany, now the Anderlecht player-manager, believes Van Dijk is the best centre-back in Premier League history.
“I would bring it back to Virgil van Dijk,” Kompany told SPORF.
“It’s a weird one because he hasn’t been on the scene for as long as these names we mentioned – John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, these guys were there for a long, long time.
“But the signs he showed in his last few years, just makes it so obvious that if he would’ve been at the top, top level before that he would’ve been already further as well.
“From what I’ve seen in terms of having an impact on a team and a defender is never about himself, it’s about his communication with other guys and how you make your team more solid.
“The Liverpool before Van Dijk and the one after him, it’s a completely different setup and I’ll give him that one because of that.”
Before making the move from St Marys to Anfield, Van Dijk was subject to signifcant transfer interest from City.
“Before I made the decision to choose Liverpool, I looked at all the aspects of the clubs; the way of playing, the team-mates, the future as well,” Van Dijk told BT Sport.
“The city, the fans everything has got to be a big part of joining a club.
“I think Liverpool at that time when I made the decision was the right decision and obviously to reach the Champions League final in my first six months was obviously a big bonus and helped me a lot in my development.”
Liverpool held a 25-point lead atop the Premier League table when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic in March.