Our choice for the top 5 Premier League defenders of all time

Social media went into meltdown after Vincent Kompany’s comment where he stated that Virgil Van Dijk is the Premier League’s greatest ever defender, with most people convinced that Kompany was joking. However, this got us thinking about the other defenders who made their mark in the Premier League and where Van Dijk compares with them, so after some consideration we came up with the best 5 defenders to feature in the Premier League, looking at the impact they made for their club as well as the impact they made on the pitch.

John Terry

Starting off, we’ve got most people’s choice for the best defender to ever play in the Premier League and regardless of whether you like him or not, it’s difficult to argue that John terry doesn’t deserve the praise. The phrase “captain, leader, legend” perfectly describes Terry’s career where he won 5 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 2 Community Shields, 1 UEFA Europa League and 1 UEFA Champions League. Terry was vital in a Chelsea spine consisting of Petr Cech, himself, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba which saw Chelsea become one of the strongest teams in England and in Europe.

Nemanja Vidic

If you asked Man United fans which former player they would bring back into the team, many of them would say Nemanja Vidic without any hesitation. Arriving from Spartak Moscow for only £7m in December of 2005 Vidic became a no-nonsense tough defender for United who would rather break his nose than concede a goal. Vidic was the leader that United are critically missing at the moment with no current players showing any leadership or strong will, the type of leader that put his body on the line and motivated his teammates in tough times. Vidic was instrumental in United’s success and played a key role in bringing 5 Premier League titles, 3 League Cups, 5 Community Shields, 1 UEFA Champions League and 1 FIFA Club World Cup to Old Trafford.

Rio Ferdinand

The second half of arguably the best defensive partnership in Premier League history is Rio Ferdinand who was instrumental in United’s defense along with Nemanja Vidic. When asked about Ferdinand, Paul Scholes stated “ he was such a pleasure to play with and play in front of… to play in front of him, he made your job so easy”. Becoming the most expensive British footballer in history for his transfer from rivals Leeds United for around £30m back in 2002, Ferdinand more than justified his price tag by showing himself to be a player with natural football ability and a strong defensive mentality, winning 6 Premier League titles, 1 FA Cup, 3 League Cups, 4 Community Shields, 1 UEFA Champions League and 1 Club World Cup during his time at Old Trafford.

Vincent Kompany

I think it’s reasonable to say that no defender has had an impact for a single club like the impact that Vincent Kompany has had for Manchester City. Arriving from Hamburg for just £6m in 2008, nobody would have predicted what would happen during Kompany’s time at the club. Leading Manchester City to 4 Premier League titles, 2 FA Cups, 4 League Cups and 2 Community Shields, Kompany leadership and tactical knowledge was instrumental in helping Manchester City establish themselves as one of the strongest sides in Europe as well as changing Manchester City’s reputation from United’s noisy neighbours to Premier League title favourites.

Tony Adams

Finally, we’ve got the player that many Arsenal fans wish they still possessed, Tony Adams. Unfortunately, due to personal issues of the pitch, Adams appears to be under-appreciated by many football fans who focus on his off the pitch problems rather than his on the pitch triumphs. Spending 19 seasons at Arsenal, Adams will be fondly remembered for his instrumental leadership role in Arsenal’s record-breaking invincible squad which enjoyed a run of 49 games unbeaten, and to this day are still the only team in Premier League history to remain undefeated for an entire season.


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