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Joe Cole: 'Only Virgil van Dijk better than Thiago Silva'

:Headline: Joe Cole: 'Only Virgil van Dijk better than Thiago Silva':
Former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole believes that bar Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Silva is the best centre-back in the Premier League.
Sports Mole

Chelsea's Thiago Silva is the second best defender in the Premier League behind Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk, according to former England midfielder Joe Cole.

Silva has quickly become a regular under Frank Lampard and has impressed during his first few months at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea keeping three clean sheets in four top-flight games when Silva has played the full 90 minutes.

Concerns were voiced over the 36-year-old's ability to perform in the physical and fast-paced Premier League during the latter stages of his career, but Cole believes that Silva is already up there with the best centre-backs in English football.

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 centre-halves in the league.

"I do not think they make centre-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 centre-half."

Silva returned to the Chelsea lineup against Rennes, where the Blues ensured qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League with a dramatic 2-1 victory at Roazhon Park. body check tags ::

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester UnitedMan Utd18114334241037
2Manchester CityMan City17105229131635
3Leicester CityLeicester18112533211235
4Liverpool1897237211634
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1896333171633
6Everton1710252821732
7Chelsea1885533211229
8Southampton188552621529
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham188552521429
10Arsenal198382319427
11Aston Villa1582529161326
12Leeds UnitedLeeds187293034-423
13Crystal Palace196582233-1123
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves196492129-822
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle185491830-1219
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton193882229-717
17Burnley17449922-1316
18Fulham172691425-1112
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1825111441-2711
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd1912161032-225
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Ligue 1 Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG20133444113342
2Lille20126235152042
3Lyon20117239192040
4MonacoMonaco20113639291036
5Rennes2010643022836
6Marseille189542618832
7Angers209382531-630
8Bordeaux208572321229
9Metz207762118328
10Lens198472929028
11Montpellier HSCMontpellier208483335-228
12Brest2082103136-526
13StrasbourgStrasbourg2072112932-323
14Nice196582228-623
15Reims205692831-321
16Saint-EtienneSt Etienne204792030-1019
17NantesNantes203982032-1218
18Nimes2043131641-2515
19Dijon192891226-1414
20Lorient1933132038-1812
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