Carragher ‘more impressed’ with Dias than Van Dijk in one aspect
Posted On May 5, 2021
Jamie Carragher believes that the fact that Ruben Dias does not possess Virgil van Dijk’s natural physical qualities makes his debut season with Manchester City even more impressive.
The Portuguese center-back cost City £ 65m, but in fairness he has proven to be value for money – being the best player in his position in both England and Europe in the absence of Big Virg.
Van Dijk’s injury has essentially defined Liverpool’s season, and Dias’ signing has marked the improvement of City’s backline.
Here’s what Carra had to say …
‘In the second semi-final you have two of the greatest center-backs of their generation, who hopefully play in Thiago Silva and Ramos, they come towards the end. We have seen Van Dijk win the Champions League over the last few years. I think the new breed is coming and this guy [Dias] is a massive part of it, ‘he said, reported in the subway.
‘The biggest thing for a center-back in terms of body position, I think he is the best by far in the Premier League.
‘I think in his first season, which he produced in Man City, I think he’s at that level. What I want to say is that Van Dijk has been blessed with physical qualities that Dias does not have, so in some ways I am more impressed with Dias.
‘When you see Van Dijk, it’s like watching a Rolls-Royce, you just think of the way he moves. ‘Most players don’t have it and Dias probably does not, so it probably needs to concentrate more and constantly be side by side.’
While City have had the luxury of rotating between John Stones and Aymeric Laporte as Dias’ partner, two defenders of 50 million. Kr. + 40 million Kr. + Nathan Ake as fourth choice – Liverpool have used people like Nat Phillips (free), Rhys Williams (free) and Ozan Kabak (loan) as front-line defenders, where he often also puts central midfielder Fabinho there.
Next term, we will hopefully have an abundance of our own options in van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and the soon-to-arrive Ibrahima Konate – and we are at a time now where we are asking for no further setbacks.
We have to go into 2021/22 with five senior central defenders, as VVD, Gomez and Matip may not be able to return immediately – so maybe one of them will be neither Kabak nor Phillips.