James Milner has compared former and current team-mates Vincent Kompany and Virgil van Dijk and admits the Liverpool star is probably more of a ‘Rolls-Royce’ defender.
Milner swapped City for Liverpool in the summer of 2015 and was joined by Van Dijk two-and-a-half years later after the Dutchman completed a world-record £75million move from Southampton.
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Discussing the two centre-backs with Gary Neville for Sky Sports, Milner said: ‘Massive players. Obviously you always look at the spine of a successful team and it starts right through the middle and with the leaders at the back and how important defending is.
‘Vinny, obviously, unbelievable player, how he went about his business. He struggled with injuries but the amount of injuries you saw him play through as well which nobody would have ever known was incredible as well.
‘He would put his head on the line, unbelievable leader, great captain, so many great qualities on that side and, rightly so, one of the greatest defenders to play in the Premier League.
‘And then obviously Virg is probably a bit to that, maybe a bit more of a Rolls-Royce if you like and doesn’t seem to make many tackles. He gets in the right spot and moves the ball away and maybe he’s got a few more diagonals in his locker than Vinny, although Vinny had that as well.’
Earlier this week, Sergio Aguero hailed Van Dijk as one of the best defenders on the planet, joking that two steps for the Netherlands international were 50 for him.
‘We all know Van Dijk is one of the best centre-backs in the world. He’s strong, tall, has an incredible body,’ the City striker told El Chiringuito.
‘He’s very strong face to face, he plays with his body. Also, given he is so tall, he has those long legs.
‘It looks like he isn’t fast but he is, because of his long legs – he can reach everywhere. Two steps from him are 50 for me!
‘What I like the most is the way he is so smart when defending. He’s not anxious when marking, he’s very careful and patient. That makes it difficult for many strikers.
‘In my case, I’m pretty fast and I like to dribble, so I need the defender to come. But if he holds he can wait for help from another defender. He’s very good at this.’
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