We’re less than three weeks away from the start of the Premier League season and clubs are starting to finalise their squads.
The transfer window will close at the end of August, giving sides another month of business but they will ideally look to complete all their work before things kick-off.
Interestingly, it seems the Premier League’s biggest clubs have prioritised their defence in this window. Of the top six teams, four of them have already added - or look set to add - a centre-back to their roster.
But how does that leave the state of their defences?
Well, we’ve decided to rank the top six centre-back duos as things stand.
With Manchester United set to complete the signing of Raphael Varane imminently and Tottenham in negotiations to purchase Cristian Romero from Atalanta, we’ve included both of these players in their respective teams.
So, without further ado, let’s look at the Premier League’s top six centre-back duos and rank them from worst to best:
6th - Tottenham | Cristian Romero and Joe Rodon
As mentioned, Spurs are in talks to sign Romero and reports of a £40 million deal has been mooted. He’s the club’s primary target and would represent a very good signing after impressing in Serie A.
Alongside him is likely to be Welshman, Joe Rodon. The 23-year-old played all of Wales’ matches at Euro 2020 and is clearly a talented defender.
It may take time for the Argentine and Rodon to form a partnership but it could be something Nuno Espirito Santo persists with.
5th - Arsenal | Gabriel and Ben White
Ben White is still yet to officially sign for Arsenal ahead of his £50 million move but it’s just a matter of time now. The 23-year-old represents an exciting signing for the Gunners.
His partner this season is likely to be fellow 23-year-old Gabriel, who signed for £27 million last summer. The Brazilian endured an inconsistent debut campaign but will surely have benefitted from a year in English football.
There’s a fear that the two 23-year-olds could be slightly too inexperienced to compete at the highest level at centre-back.
4th - Chelsea | Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger
Okay, Chelsea tend to play with three centre-backs so this isn’t entirely accurate but, if the Blues were to play four at the back, Silva and Ruidger would be the partnership.
In truth, Thomas Tuchel’s side probably need another centre-back to add to their squad despite the many options that include the likes of Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma.
Silva showed his quality last season but turns 37 in September and it will be tough to expect him to play 38 Premier League games this campaign. Meanwhile, Rudiger can be inconsistent.
Perhaps an area of concern for Chelsea supporters.
3rd - Liverpool | Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate
This partnership comes with a few caveats.
Can Van Dijk return to his best form after almost 12 months out injured with a serious knee injury? The Dutchman is expected to make his long-awaited return in a pre-season friendly against Hertha Berlin on Thursday.
After a defensive injury crisis last season, the Reds moved to sign 22-year-old Ibrahima Konaté from RB Leipzig for £36 million. The Frenchman looks a real talent but may take him time to get up to speed with Premier League football.
It’s a partnership that could be incredible but we’re not sure we’ll see the best of them anytime soon.
2nd - Manchester United | Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane
This will no doubt upset many Man Utd fans but we’re only putting Maguire and Varane as the second best defensive partnership in the Premier League.
Why only second?
Despite his heroics in the summer, we’re still not convinced Maguire is one of the best defenders in world football.
The £42 million deal to sign Varane will be completed very soon and he will bring a lot of experience and quality from Real Madrid.
We can’t deny that the pair could form a formidable centre-back pairing but we think there is one slightly better in the league…
1st - Manchester City | Ruben Dias and John Stones
After last season, it’s impossible not to put Dias and Stones in at No.1. The pair established themselves as a formidable pairing last season, keeping Aymeric Laporte out of the side.
Dias’ no-nonsense defending coupled with Stones’ ball-playing ability, gave City a lovely balance at the heart of their defence as they strolled to Premier League glory.News Now - Sport News