Carra: Dias should be Premier League Player of the Year as it stands

Jamie Carragher insists Ruben Dias has ‘TRANSFORMED’ Manchester City and should be the frontrunner for the Premier League Player of the Year after a stunning start to life in English football and has compared the 23-year-old’s impact to Virgil van Dijk

  • Manchester City have conceded just 13 Premier League goals so far this season
  • Pep Guardiola’s men are top of the table and have a game in hand on their rivals 
  • Dias has been instrumental in that success and has helped John Stones flourish
  • Jamie Carragher feels Dias has had a similar impact to Virgil van Dijk at Anfield 
  • Liverpool host City on Sunday and are seven points behind Pep Guardiola’s men

Jamie Carragher thinks Ruben Dias is the Premier League’s best player at the moment as Manchester City sit top of the league with by far the league’s strongest backline. 

Pep Guardiola’s men have shipped 13 goals in the league after 21 games, nine fewer than Tottenham and Arsenal, who boast the next-best defences. 

Dias has been instrumental in establishing that solidity after arriving from Benfica for £62million in late September, starting every single league game since joining, with City conceding just seven goals in 19 games in those matches. 

Ruben Dias has turned Manchester City into the Premier League’s best defence since joining

Dias and John Stones have amazingly conceded just once in their last 10 top-flight games

The 23-year-old’s exceptional leadership has also helped John Stones flourish, with the Englishman forcing his way back into the top-flight starting XI in late November. 

City’s rearguard has generally been strong this season, but Dias and Stones’ partnership has taken the team’s defending to new heights, with the pair conceding just one goal in 11 league outings.

As a fellow centre back, Carragher has bemoaned the lack of recognition his position has received when it comes to individual accolades, but believes Dias should be crowned the Premier League Player of the Season over any attacking player based on the season so far. 

‘Only six of the forty-seven winners of the PFA accolade have been centre backs, Virgil Van Dijk the most recent in 2019,’ the Sky Sports pundit said in his Telegraph column. 

‘The strikers usually get the glory. Based on the criteria the award should go to someone who has had the single biggest impact on the destiny of the Premier League title. That makes Dias the current frontrunner.  

‘Sometimes it is too simplistic to credit all this on one player, but – as Van Dijk demonstrated when he arrived at Anfield – a top-class centre back is transformative. 

Jamie Carragher feels Dias should be the frontrunner for the Premier League Player of the Year

Carragher believes Dias has had a similar impact to Virgil van Dijk when he joined Liverpool

‘Good centre backs can make everyone around them look better. That is not intended to downplay the renaissance of John Stones. He too deserves much of the applause for City’s improved numbers.

‘But when you watch the pair together, it is difficult to believe who is aged 23, and which of them is 26. 

‘For a young player, Dias’ qualities as an organiser are especially impressive. Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko have also flourished since Dias joined.’

The Reds legend also thinks that Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko are playing better

Jurgen Klopp will be looking to stop the rot at Anfield when Pep Guardiola rocks up on Sunday

City’s defensive credentials are likely to be tested when they travel to Anfield on Sunday, but Liverpool are going through a rough patch having lost their second successive home game to a side battling relegation.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were beaten by a strike from Brighton’s Steven Alzate on Wednesday, after losing their first home league game since April 2017 when Ashley Barnes’ penalty proved the difference on January 21. 

City are seven points ahead of the champions with a game in hand. Victory will extend their current winning run to 14 games in all competitions and set the team up nicely for more tough games in February against Tottenham, Everton, Arsenal and West Ham, as well as the first leg of a Champions League round-of-16 tie against Borussia Monchengladbach. 

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