Robbie Savage has hailed Ruben Dias’s impact at Manchester City, comparing him to Liverpool’s defensive stalwart Virgil van Dijk.
During an interview with BT Sports, Robbie Savage has raised a few eyebrows with his bold statement regarding Ruben Dias. As quoted by Empire of the Kop, the former Welsh footballer has claimed the impact of the Manchester City defender at Etihad this season has been greater than what Virgil van Dijk did at Liverpool.
“The amount of clean sheets that they have kept [is a lot] and the way John Stones has improved is quite remarkable. His impact on Man City has been better than Van Dijk’s impact on Liverpool,” Savage told BT Sports Score.
The 46-year-old’s comments come just a few days after Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Burnley that helped them further solidify their position at the top of the Premier League. They are currently leading the table by two points but have two games in hand.
Ruben Dias and John Stones quietly turned into the Premier League's best defensive pair 🤝 pic.twitter.com/bczdfqt4rI
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 4, 2021
Ruben Dias has indeed been one of the key protagonists of a Manchester City side that has gone through a mid-season revolution. They have the best defensive record in Europe’s top five leagues, having conceded just 13 goals in 21 Premier League matches. It is quite brilliant for any team, especially in a league full of quality opponents.
The Portuguese international has built a formidable defensive partnership alongside John Stones, while also faring well alongside the likes of Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake. Their collective understanding has made Manchester City one of the most resilient teams in Europe this season, with the Citizens now emerging as the clear favourites to seal the Premier League this term.
Savage’s comments also aim a dig at Liverpool, who have struggled defensively in the absence of van Dijk due to injury. The Dutchman is joined by the likes of Fabinho, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip in the list of players that have suffered unfortunate fitness related issues this campaign.
The Reds did bring in FC Schalke defender Ozan Kabak on loan in January to supplement a depleted backline. The Turkish international could incidentally make his Liverpool debut against Manchester City as the two clubs go head to head on Sunday. It will be interesting to see whether he can outshine Dias in this vital encounter in the context of the Premier League title race.