Joe Cole: Virgil van Dijk is better than Thiago Silva
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Joe Cole: Virgil van Dijk is better than Thiago Silva

According to former England midfielder Joe Cole, the only defender better than Thiago Silva right now is Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk.

Speaking to BT Sport, Cole said: "He has been one of the great defenders of our generation, but at 36 you worry. Traditionally players at that age coming into the Premier League, it is very difficult. The Premier League is a different beast now.

"He was not fit at the start of the season and Frank did not want to throw him in. He needed time to get into it and now he looks like a Rolls Royce and one of the best center-halves in the league.

"I do not think they make center-halves like him anymore. Apart from Van Dijk, I would say he is the best in the League. He has brought so much quality, on the pitch and off the pitch.

"For [Antonio] Rudiger, [Kurt] Zouma, and [Andreas] Christensen next to him, he is a standard-bearer. That is the level you want to get at if you want to class yourself as a world-class center-half."

Silva left PSG to join Chelsea on a free transfer last summer, and he has started life well under Frank Lampard, keeping three clean sheets in four top-flight games when he's played the full 90 minutes.

Do you agree with Joe Cole?

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