In May, Vincent Kompany named Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk as the best centre-back in Premier League history. His choice raised eyebrows in some quarters as Van Dijk has not been playing at the highest level for that long. Not many would argue that he is currently the best defender in the country though but who is closest to him? We look at the six best defenders in the Premier League
The six best defenders in the Premier League
6. Harry Maguire – Man United
According to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Harry Maguire is “one of the best centre-backs in the game.” United paid around £80 million for the England international in 2019, a fee which makes Maguire the most expensive defender in the history of football.
Although struggling to live up to the enormous price tag since his move last summer, the 27-year-old has increasingly shown his worth for the team in the latter part of the season, despite a hesitant start.
5. Caglar Soyuncu – Leicester
When Harry Maguire left Leicester, analysts were speculating who would replace the England international. In the end, Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers found the answer in his own squad with Caglar Soyuncu. The Leicester fans are certainly happy with the decision, as Soyoncu has been a tower of strength this season.
The Turkey international has enjoyed an eventful campaign with Leicester and, despite, only being 24 years old, he will likely transfer to a top-tier club in the coming years. According to Graeme Souness, Man United should return to Leicester for another defender this summer in order to link up Soyuncu with Harry Maguire, as they could potentially be complementary.
4. Aymeric Laporte – Man City
According to Pep Guardiola, Aymeric Laporte is the “best left-sided centre-back in the world”. Though the 26-year-old Frenchman suffered a knee injury at the beginning of the season, Manchester City’s defensive struggles without him showed his value. Although Aymeric Laporte is the first choice in Pep Guardiola’s defense at Manchester City, he has never won an international cap. Could he be the best internationally uncapped footballer in the world?
3. Andrew Robertson – Liverpool
Danny Rose has called Liverpool’s Andy Robertson is “a freak of nature” and the best left- defender in the world. The 26-year old Liverpool player was acquired from Hull City in 2017 for just £6.3m and has been a crucial addition to Jurgen Klopp’s squad. Robertson was voted the best left back in world football a year ago and came top of our best left backs blog. He is definitely one of the best defenders in the Premier League.
2. Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool
At just 21 years of age, Liverpool’s homegrown wing-back can already be considered the best right-back in the world, at least according to our best right backs blog.
“I once said how people don’t grow up wanting to be Gary Neville but I think a lad from Liverpool will change that”. Jamie Carragher believes Alexander-Arnold can surpass Premier League legend, Gary Neville. Despite being rated so highly, the England international can still improve in the coming years which is a frightening thought for the opposition.
The Liverpool right-back has already won the Premier League, Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup in his short career.
1. Virgil Van Dijk – Liverpool
According to Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany, Virgil van Dijk is the Premier League’s greatest ever defender. The former Celtic and Southampton player arrived at Liverpool in 2018 and was acquired for £75 million – a bargain in hindsight. Van Dijk won the Champions League trophy last season and has added Premier League title this term.
The Reds are currently on top of the Premier League table with Van Dijk leading a backline which has conceded just 21 goals this season. Though the Netherlands international has only played for a big six club for two seasons, he is generally regarded and the best defender in the Premier League and possibly the world at the moment.
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