Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne has assessed and ranked the top central defenders he has encountered in the Premier League, while also delivering a distinct verdict on Manchester United’s Lisandro Martinez.
De Bruyne has consistently been a formidable force in the Premier League since his arrival at Manchester City in 2015, solidifying his status as one of the club’s all-time greats.
During this period, he has managed to outshine some of the finest defenders in the league. Nevertheless, his contributions in the current season have been limited to under an hour of playing time, despite Manchester City’s achievement of winning the Treble.
De Bruyne’s involvement in Manchester City’s Premier League opener against Burnley was cut short due to injury, forcing him off the field in under 30 minutes. He could potentially face a recovery period of up to four months.
Despite his current absence from the action, De Bruyne still shared his perspective on the best defenders currently in the Premier League.
When asked to rank the top defenders among Lisandro Martinez of Manchester United, Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool, and Chelsea’s experienced Thiago Silva, the 32-year-old Belgian gave his assessment.
He placed Virgil van Dijk in the number one spot, followed by Thiago Silva in second place, and Manchester United’s Argentine central defender Lisandro Martinez in the third position.
Outlining his decision to put Martinez behind Van Dijk and Silva, De Bruyne explained that though he does rate the United defender, he has simply not faced him enough times compared to the other more experienced duo who have both been in the Premier League longer and are further down the line in their playing careers.
Speaking toSky Sports, De Bruyne said: “He’s got everything. Obviously I know him well but he’s got right foot, left foot, speed, height, and he’s a leader.
“Thiago also, he’s amazing, but I just think that Virgil’s got that little bit more.
“And Lisandro, he’s a good player but I just don’t know him well enough. I’ve not seen him enough and I only played against him once or twice, so it’s hard to say where I see how I played against him.
“I’ve seen him (Silva) play when he was at Milan and I played against him at PSG so he’s been there for 20 years, so what a career he’s had.”