With the Premier League returning in a couple of days time, most managers and players will have enjoyed a break and much needed rest in that time. However, during that period, a few debates have recently become popular, with one of them being who the best centre-backs in England are.
Over the last couple of years, the goalkeeper position as well as the midfield and attack department has been straightforward to compare and contrast. But, when the Premier League Team of the Year is picked by the English journalists or the football pundits, the defence or should we say the centre-back partnership, is not similar to one another as the competition in that area is close and tense.
It’s time to now look at the best centre-backs in the Premier League…
Liverpool’s classy Dutchman
Since the start of 2018, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have become a massive threat in the league and it is mainly thanks to the arrival of Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton. The questions were seriously asked following the official announcement of whether he is worth the £75million that the Merseyside club had spent on him, though, his calm and dominant performances has silenced a lot of his critics as he continues to help the side in doing what they amazingly do best on both areas of the football pitch.
Before the huge transfer move to Anfield was completed, the 27-year-old was showing more than glimpses and true potential of a defender that had all the abilities that a big team needed in their backline during his time at Southampton. Meanwhile, the Reds had a few issues with their defence with one of the problems being that they were missing a leader that could be seen as an example for the others. Now, Liverpool have the ability and mentality to grind out victories when necessary.
Manchester City’s rising jewels
Looking at all the clubs in the Premier League, it can be easily stated that the current champions Manchester City have the perfect mixture of centre-backs compared to the rest. Pep Guardiola has the ideal options available to him, with the experienced ones being Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany whilst the individuals that suit his style of play are Aymeric Laporte and John Stones. Having these four options around allow the team to compete in all competitions they take part in.
It is time to turn the full focus onto Laporte and Stones, two centre-backs that fit well into Guardiola’s possession-based football and are enjoying the regular game time they are experiencing at the Etihad Stadium. Both defenders are 24-years-old and are on the rise at the moment, and they are expected to become the perfect partnership for Manchester City for the next five to ten years. If this is the actual outcome, then the £105million spent on the duo was simply more than worth it.
The quality and depth in defence at Tottenham
Tottenham Hotspur have confidently got the best centre-backs in the country even if they are yet to win any silverware or titles to show their class. The likes of Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld have formed an immense partnership which allows manager Mauricio Pochettino to utilise the back-three system when needed. This leads the team to be quite attacking minded and dominant in the final third of the pitch through their wing-backs in Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier.
On the other hand, Sanchez is not the finished article yet, but he is the ideal coach that will take him to the next level as well as the right role models to look up to within his department. When looking at Tottenham and their main stars, most Premier League supporters will straightaway think of the individuals such as Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Harry Kane. However, without either Alderweireld or Vertonghen, the side start to crumble and end up making some defensive errors leading to goals.
Some honourable and potential candidates: Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta, Eric Bailly, James Tarkowski and Harry Maguire.