The six-time Premier League champion rates Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld and Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny as the most impressive in England
Rio Ferdinand has named north London rivals Toby Alderweireld and Laurent Koscielny as the two best defenders in the Premier League.
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Alderweireld established himself as a leading centre-back in England as Tottenham mounted their first credible title bid in years last season, partnering Jan Vertonghen as Spurs conceded a league-low 35 goals.
Koscielny, on the other hand, has been a consistent figure in Arsene Wenger’s back four for several years, with Marcus Rashford recently rating the France international as the toughest defender he has faced in his fledgling career.
Ferdinand – who won six Premier League titles during his 12-year spell at Manchester United – told BT Sport of Alderweireld: “In terms of importance he’s alongside Harry Kane.
“He understands where to be on the football pitch, take a chance at times, but he steps out and makes things happen.”
He added: “I think [Alderweireld] is one of the top two defenders along with Koscielny in this league and he does weigh in with a goal here or there.”
Alderweireld returned to action for Spurs against CSKA Moscow on Wednesday evening, having missed the previous 10 games through injury, and is expected to start against United at Old Trafford on Sunday.