Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has named the Premier League’s best center-back.

Virgil van Dijk was previously named one of the best in the world by Ferdinand when he said on his podcast last month: “If he’s been fit in the last few years, I think [Van Dijk’s] was the right guy.

“He’s had the biggest impact on a team in terms of central defenders, I think, in probably the last three years.”

Now he has been named the new “best central defender” in the league, with Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger receiving the applause.

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The German international has started all of the London club’s games this season and scored a goal in a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

“He’s arguably the best central defender since he came,” he told his podcast Vibe with Five. “I think he and [Ruben] Dias would have been close, but the effect he had on his team was immense.

“Under Frank [Lampard] , it was obvious that it wasn’t Frank’s cup of tea. He didn’t really like him. There were rumors that they wanted to put it on the market to be sold.

“He’s always been valued in Germany. But if the manager doesn’t rate you and you can feel it, I don’t care who you are, your self-confidence is struck and it’s hard to work at that level.”

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The 28-year-old is in the final year of his contract with Chelsea and has yet to agree on new terms to extend his stint at Stamford Bridge.

He came from AS Roma in 2017 for an initial £ 29million deal on a five-year deal, but could be available for free with European clubs next summer.

Meanwhile, Virgil van Dijk made his return to the Liverpool starting XI this season after missing much of the previous season after a long injury break.

Manchester City defender Ruben Dias has also been overlooked by Ferdinand despite being named Premier League Player of the Season last season.

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