Rio Ferdinand made a bold claim about David Beckham when asked if Kevin De Bruyne is the greatest Premier League midfielder of all time.
If some football fans had started to forget how good De Bruyne is, then he gave them a timely reminder with a superb performance on Saturday.
After spending five months recovering from a hamstring injury, the City midfielder scored and assisted as City came from behind to beat Newcastle 3-2 at St James’ Park.
Minutes after coming off the bench the 32-year-old drove forward an ‘passed’ a shot through the legs of the defender and into the bottom corner of the goal.
Then, in injury-time, he found Oscar Bobb with a stunning pin-point cross that the youngster coolly converted.
In the days since, the conversation regarding De Bruyne’s place in the pantheon of Premier League greats has resurfaced.
The names the City man is usually compared with are Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes, but former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes Beckham deserves to be considered.
He thinks Beckham would be just as good as De Bruyne if he played today.
“If David Beckham played today, in the position that Kevin De Bruyne plays, he would push him,” Ferdinand said in Monday’s episode of theFIVE podcast.
“There’s be a conversation about who’s better, and I don’t know [the answer]. I’m saying Beckham would run De Bruyne close if they both played in the same position as that eight or 10 player.”
Ferdinand, who played alongside Beckham for United and England, went on to praise the superstar as one of the greatest players ever.
“He was a joke man, I can’t speak highly enough of Becks. When we talk about the best players, he is right up there for what he used to do.”
Beckham played on the wing for United and England, but he certainly had the passing ability, vision and engine to play in central position.
Whether he would have been as good in City’s midfield is up for debate. What’s undeniable though is that both will forever be regarded as Premier League greats.