Former Manchester City and England fullback Micah Richards says that he still believes Virgil van Dijk is the best centre-back in the Premier League.

Richards has acknowledged how impressive Portuguese international Ruben Dias has been for Manchester City this season, but admits that van Dijk’s achievements in recent years have been incredible.

Speaking on Sky’s Super Six Podcast, as transcribed by TBRF, Richards backed van Dijk as the best in the division. “I think Ruben Dias has been brilliant.

“I’ve got to be impartial and what Van Dijk has done over the last few years has been incredible. So yeah, I’ve got to go Van Dijk.

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If you compare the season Dias is having now to the year van Dijk had last term as Liverpool won the Premier League, it is easy to see why Richards is sticking with the Dutchman. Van Dijk won more duels at a higher success rate than Dias is managing this season, whilst also making more ball recoveries and clearances per 90 than the City man.

This is not to discredit Dias, who is enjoying a stellar season and looks set to lead City to a Premier League title, but it is a reminder of just how good van Dijk is. The Dutchman has missed the majority of this season through an ACL injury and no date has been given on his return as of yet, but hopefully Liverpool can get him back and ready for the start of next season.

It would be fun to see how Dias and van Dijk compared to each other playing in the division at the same time, especially when City and Liverpool play against each other. That could be the real test of who the best centre-back in the division is, but van Dijk’s statistics reign supreme for now and, hopefully, that will remain the case after his return!

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