Ruben Dias has claimed the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year after an incredible season.
The Portuguese has made a huge impact in his debut campaign at Manchester City, leading them to Premier League glory.
His performances have also been crucial in helping City reach the Champions League final for the first time in their history. His display in the semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain was heroic.
He’s been so good that he’s been compared to Virgil van Dijk.
Of course, Van Dijk been has injured for the majority of the season so it’s been difficult to compare the two.
And it got us thinking: ‘Who are the best centre-backs in the league?’
Van Dijk and Dias are set to go head-to-head next season with the Dutchman returning to full fitness.
But how do the pair rank among their peers?
Now, we’ve ranked these players relative to each other. To play Premier League football, you’re clearly not ‘Awful’ so all rankings should be taken with a pinch of salt.
So, without further ado, check out our rankings below:
Sorry, Eric, but we just don’t rate you. The consolation is that Gareth Southgate seems to like you and you’re likely to be in the Euro 2020 squad…
Two Crystal Palace defenders and an ageing Wes Morgan. Perhaps we’re being harsh on the Leicester man after he captained the Foxes to an incredible league triumph but he’s now 37 and isn’t capable of playing at the highest level.
Average. Middle of the road. Okay.
Whatever you want to call it, we don’t have a huge opinion one way or another with this set of players. They’re good enough to be Premier League players but not good enough to be playing at the very top.
Now we’re talking. These players can be considered decent Premier League centre-backs and fully deserve to be playing in arguably the greatest league in the world.
Five defenders have distinguished themselves from the ‘Decent’ category and are defined as ‘Very Good.’
Joe Gomez may have missed pretty much the entire season but he’s proved he can be a brilliant defender, while John Stones has come on leaps and bounds this season. Harry Maguire is the captain of Manchester United and, despite criticism, has shown just how important he is. Aymeric Laporte may not be a regular for City but he’s impressive as well as Jonny Evans who continues to prove his ability at Leicester.
Two defenders fall just under ‘The Best.’ Sorry, Ruben Dias but you can’t quite be considered the best in the league just yet, while Thiago Silva has been an incredible free transfer signing for Chelsea.
Virgil van Dijk
We reckon Van Dijk is still the best defender in the league despite missing most of this season through injury. We can’t wait to watch him back in action.
So, we’re putting Van Dijk above everyone else still, while Dias and Silva just behind.
Gomez, Stones, Maguire, Laporte and Evans are in the tier below.
But with Van Dijk winning the PFA Player of the Year award last season and Dias this time around, it’s great to see defenders getting the recognition they deserve.