Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne has ranked his three best centre-backs in the Premier League at the moment. The Belgian midfielder picked Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk as his first choice, followed by Chelsea’s Thiago Silva and Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez.

When asked why he chose the Dutch defender as the best over the veteran Silva, De Bruyne said on the Sky Sports Premier League YouTube channel:

“He’s got everything. Obviously, I know him well, but he’s got right foot, left foot, speed, height. He’s a leader. Thiago, he’s amazing, but I just think that Virgil has got that little bit more.”

Regarding the Manchester United defender, he added:

“And Lisandro, he’s a good player but I just don’t know him well enough. So I can’t really… not seen him enough and I’ve only played against him once or twice. So it’s hard to say where [I’d place him]. See this, I’ve played against him [Thiago Silva]. I’ve seen him play when he was at [AC] Milan and I’ve played against him at PSG. He’s been there for 20 years. What a career he’s had.”

Van Dijk has been instrumental in Jurgen Klopp’s side, helping them win the UEFA Champions League, the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the Carabao Cup, amongst other trophies. He has registered 163 Premier League appearances during his career at Liverpool, recording 16 goals and eight assists.

Silva has had an exceptional career as well, winning the Champions League with Chelsea and seven Ligue 1 titles with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

Kevin De Bruyne ranks the Premier League’s three best midfielders

In the aforementioned interview, De Bruyne was also asked to rank the Premier League’s three best midfielders, apart from himself. The Belgian chose Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes, Arsenal skipper Martin Odegaard, and Tottenham Hotspur’s James Maddison, in that order.

When asked why his No. 1 choice was Fernandes, De Bruyne attributed it to the Portuguese midfielder’s creativity. The former Chelsea midfielder said:

“I think he’s a creative machine, not just in general. I think Odegaard is very creative, but a little more controlled. And then, Maddison is also very creative but I need to see more of him in a big team for that to change. So that’s why I put him No. 3.”

The Belgian international was then asked whether Fernandes’ creativity at Manchester United was underrated, to which he replied:

“Being creative has a lot of different things around it. It’s just creating chances. But also sometimes you can give somebody a ball and he shoots from 30 meters and it is also creative. So it’s always different. But I think he’s always there and he takes a lot of risks. I like him and he’s been doing really well.”

Fernandes has registered 126 appearances in the Premier League for Manchester United, scoring 44 goals and providing 32 assists. He played an important role in the club’s Carabao Cup victory during the 2022/23 campaign.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee

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