Vincent Kompany says Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk should be considered as the best ever Premier League defender, as he prepares for his Manchester City testimonial.
Kompany was asked where he stands personally among the greatest central defenders to play in the Premier League ahead of his testimonial at the Etihad – which he will miss through injury.
Arriving at City in 2008, Kompany went on to lead the club to four Premier League titles, and six other domestic trophies in the most successful period in the club’s history.
He will return to the Etihad on Wednesday night for his testimonial, where his Man City legends side will face a Premier League all-stars team with the likes of Thierry Henry, Paul Scholes and Edwin Van der Sar to feature. Liverpool’s former City man James Milner is also set to feature.
Kompany could have feasibly lined up in the Premier League legends side were he fit, such is his impact at City over the last decade, but it was a surprise name that the Belgian picked as the best ever centre-back to play in the division.
Mentioning the likes of Jaap Stam, John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, Kompany wouldn’t be drawn on whether he is among the greatest, instead naming Van Dijk as the player who has been most influential in the position.
“I never try to compare. My journey is different, I’ve had to deal with different tools,” he said, in reference to his injury history.
“For me not to play this game, let’s not escape the irony. So I’ve had to deal with that and I’ve tried to be substantial for my team.
“I would bring it back to Virgil van Dijk. He’s not been on the scene as long as Terry, Ferdinand who have been around for a long time, but the signs he’s shown in the last few years show if he had been around longer he’d have been at the top for a long time.
“The Liverpool before Van Dijk and after are a completely different set up. I’ll give him that one.”
Van Dijk was named the UEFA Best Player of the Year recently, and is in the final three shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.