Football News

William Gallas names the Premier League’s two best defenders

By Ben Green

Published: 15:58, 30 December 2021

Former Chelsea and Arsenal defender William Gallas has branded Ruben Dias and Thiago Silva as the two best defenders currently in the Premier League.

There are a number of world class defenders currently turning out in the English top flight, not least Virgil van Dijk and Raphael Varane, as well as football’s most expensive one ever in Harry Maguire.

However, Gallas — who plied his trade in the Premier League for three clubs across 12 years — believes Manchester City’s ball-playing Portuguese and Chelsea’s veteran Brazilian are head and shoulders above the rest.

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Dias, 24, has been a revelation in the heart of Pep Guardiola’s backline since trading Benfica for City in the summer of 2020, capping off a superb maiden campaign at the Etihad by claiming a Premier League Player of the Season award as the club reclaimed the title off Liverpool.

Silva meanwhile has continued to ooze class in what should be the twilight years of his career. At 37, the Brazilian is certainly no spring chicken in the sport, but his reading of the game, tackling ability and positional awareness have kept him at the peak of his powers.

Given their respective efforts for City and Chelsea last season, with Dias winning a Premier League and EFL Cup double, and Silva helping the Blues lift the Champions League — at the expense of Dias’ side — Gallas believes they are defensively unrivalled in the English top flight.

The Frenchman told Genting Casino: “I will speak about two players. I will speak about Thiago Silva because, he always finds the edge. I think what he does for Chelsea, it’s magnificent.

“As you know, to play in the Premier League it’s not easy. It’s very physical. And Thiago Silva is 37 years old. He is the boss of that defence. He’s mature, he’s got experience.

“So that’s why players like Rudiger and Chalobah, when they play next to Thiago Silva, they feel secure. Thiago Silva, with his experience, he takes all the pressure on his shoulder.

“So that’s why Chalobah, Rudiger, Christensen play so well. Thiago Silva is one of the best defenders in the Premier League.

“But as well, you’ve got Ruben Dias at Man City. He is a very strong, and a very thoughtful defender. He doesn’t make a lot of fouls. In his position, that is always good. That is how he communicates to his team.

“He doesn’t speak a lot, but he doesn’t have to. But you know, he looks strong. So those two players, for me, are the best defenders in the Premier League.”