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Top 10 Best Centre-Backs in the Premier League (2024)

It’s important to take a moment and truly appreciate the dedication and skill exhibited by central defenders. They undertake crucial tasks such as blocking, passing, clearances, interceptions, and tackles, which are fundamental to their team’s success.

The 2024 Premier League is widely regarded as the most thrilling and competitive league globally, where teams across the spectrum consistently deliver entertaining matches week after week. The significant contribution of defenders cannot be overstated in ensuring the continuity and success of their teams.

The enduring wisdom of Johan Cruyff’s quote, “Strikers win you matches, defense wins you trophies” resonates deeply in today’s football landscape. Clubs recognize the pivotal role of reliable defenders in building formidable teams aimed at achieving championship success.

Our assessment of the top centre-backs considers their performance, statistical achievements, and the profound impact they have on their clubs’ overall performance within the league.

Here are the top 10 best centre-backs in the Premier League for 2024.

1. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Virgil van Dijk, a Dutch professional footballer, is a commanding center-back and the captain of both Liverpool and the Netherlands national team. Widely acclaimed as one of the finest defenders of his era, Van Dijk is renowned for his physical strength, leadership qualities, speed, and exceptional aerial ability.

Career Highlights:

  • Played a pivotal role in Liverpool’s Premier League triumph in the 2019/20 season.
  • Named PFA Player of the Year for the 2018/19 season.
  • Won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool in 2018/19.

Season Performance (2024):

  • Maintaining a stellar performance in the 2024 Premier League with an average rating of 7.5.
  • Continues to be a defensive stalwart for Liverpool, contributing to their defensive solidity and overall team success.

2. William Saliba (Arsenal)

William Saliba is a talented French center-back playing for Arsenal. Known for his composure on the ball and tactical awareness, Saliba is considered a promising young defender with immense potential.

Career Highlights:

  • Joined Arsenal in 2019 from Saint-Étienne.
  • Impressed during loan spells at Nice and Marseille.

Season Performance (2024):

  • Emerging as a key player for Arsenal’s defense in the 2024 Premier League.
  • Demonstrating maturity beyond his years with consistent performances.

3. Gabriel Magalhães (Arsenal)

Gabriel Magalhães, a Brazilian center-back, is a solid presence in Arsenal’s defense. Known for his physicality and ability to read the game, Gabriel has become a dependable figure at the back.

Career Highlights:

  • Signed for Arsenal from Lille in 2020.
  • Established himself as a regular starter for Arsenal.

Season Performance (2024):

  • Continuing to impress in the 2024 Premier League, showcasing his defensive abilities and improving with each game with his partnership with William Saliba they are clearly becoming an iconic duo.

4. Cristian Romero (Tottenham)

Cristian Romero is an Argentine center-back who joined Tottenham from Atalanta in 2021. Known for his aggressive style of defending and ability to play out from the back, Romero has quickly become a fan favorite at Tottenham.

Career Highlights:

  • Won the Copa America with Argentina in 2021.
  • Won the World Cup with Argentina in 2022.
  • Named Serie A Defender of the Season in 2020/21.

Season Performance (2024):

  • Adapted well to the Premier League with Tottenham, contributing to their defensive setup.

5. Ruben Dias (Manchester City)

Ruben Dias, a Portuguese center-back, is a key player for Manchester City. Known for his intelligence, positioning, and composure under pressure, Dias has been instrumental in Manchester City’s recent successes.

Career Highlights:

  • Named Premier League Player of the Season in 2020/21.
  • Played a crucial role in Manchester City’s Premier League and EFL Cup victories.

Season Performance (2024):

  • Maintaining high standards in the 2024 Premier League, solidifying Manchester City’s defense.

6. Micky van de Ven (Tottenham)

Micky van de Ven is a promising Dutch center-back who joined Tottenham from Wolfsburg. Known for his versatility and defensive awareness, Van de Ven has shown great potential in the Premier League.

Career Highlights:

  • Rapidly establishing himself as a key part of Tottenham’s defensive unit.

Season Performance (2024):

  • Making significant contributions to Tottenham’s defense in the 2024 Premier League campaign.

7. Nathan Ake (Manchester City)

Nathan Ake, a Dutch defender, plays for Manchester City. Ake is known for his ball-playing abilities and versatility, capable of playing as a center-back or left-back.

Career Highlights:

  • Joined Manchester City from Bournemouth in 2020.
  • Won the EFL Cup, UCL and Premier League with Manchester City.

Season Performance (2024):

  • Providing depth and quality to Manchester City’s defense in the 2024 Premier League season.

8. Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool)

Ibrahima Konate is a French center-back who joined Liverpool from RB Leipzig. Konate possesses physical strength, pace, and technical skills, making him a promising prospect.

Career Highlights:

  • Signed for Liverpool in 2021.
  • Played a key role in RB Leipzig’s defense prior to joining Liverpool.

Season Performance (2024):

  • Contributing to Liverpool’s defensive efforts and adapting well to the Premier League in 2024.

9. Manuel Akanji (Manchester City)

Manuel Akanji, a Swiss defender, is part of Manchester City’s defensive setup. Akanji is known for his athleticism, composure, and ability to play out from the back.

Career Highlights:

  • Joined Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund in 2022.
  • Won the Premier League and Champions League with Manchester City.

Season Performance (2024):

  • Continues to be a reliable presence in Manchester City’s defense during the 2024 Premier League season.

10. Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa)

Ezri Konsa is an English center-back playing for Aston Villa. Konsa is known for his strong tackling, positional awareness, and aerial ability.

Career Highlights:

  • Joined Aston Villa from Brentford in 2019.
  • Played a key role in Aston Villa’s defense since joining the club.

Season Performance (2024):

  • Continuing to develop and contribute to Aston Villa’s defensive stability in the 2024 Premier League.
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