The 15 greatest defenders ever in the Premier League have been ranked


Earlier this month, Vincent Kompany branded Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk 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.”

But is he the greatest centre-back in the Premier League era?

Squawka have taken on the unenviable task of trying to separate the best of the best.

Players’ ability, as well as how many trophies they won, were taken into account.

We’ve listed the top 15 below, but if you want to read Squawka’s reasoning and for a more comprehensive breakdown, click here:

15. Ledley King

14. Kolo Toure

13. Sami Hyypia

12. Jamie Carragher

11. Jaap Stam

10. Virgil van Dijk


9. Vincent Kompany

8. Steve Bruce

7. Ricardo Carvalho

6. Gary Pallister

5. Nemanja Vidic


4. Tony Adams

3. Sol Campbell

2. Rio Ferdinand

1. John Terry

It was always going to come down to Terry and Ferdinand battling for number one spot.


Ferdinand won one more Premier League title but Squawka gave the edge to Terry, who was captain fantastic for Chelsea.

Campbell completes the podium spots, although we can’t help but feel he’s slightly too high up in the list.

He was a brilliant defender, yes, but is he greater than Vidic and Adams? We’re not sure.

Kompany also seems a little bit too low at 9.

One spot below him is Van Dijk. In terms of quality, he might have a case to be one of the best Premier League defenders of all-time.

But to be considered the greatest, he needs to win some Premier League titles with Liverpool.

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