Vincent Kompany has named Virgil van Dijk as the greatest defender in Premier League history, in terms of ability.
Obviously others have won the competition on multiple occasions, but based on sheer defensive attributes and how good a centre-back is, we think the Belgian has a point – disregarding longevity as the Dutchman has been at Liverpool less than two years.
Kompany was speaking before his testimonial, which was played last night at the Etihad.
“I would bring it back to Virgil van Dijk,” Kompany told EuroSport, when asked to name the greatest ever Premier League defender.
“And it’s a weird one because he hasn’t been on the scene for as long as these names we’ve mentioned – John Terry, Rio Ferdinand… But the signs he’s shown in these last few years make it obvious that if he would have been at the top, top level [before] he would have been already further as well.”
Van Dijk is set to win this season’s Ballon d’Or, which no other Premier League defender has got close to doing – so he’s undeniably in the conversation.
Obviously it depends on how you define ‘greatness’.
We can accept that there’s a need to have won silverware and be at the top level for a number of years – although this is by no means the be all and end all.
John O’Shea won plenty of Premier League titles, but nobody is stupid enough to suggest he was better than van Dijk is now.
Still, if Virgil van lead us to glory in 2019/20, not only would he be regarded as the Premier League’s best ever defender, but maybe even Liverpool’s, alongside Alan Hansen.