Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher disagreed on one selection as they named the current best three players in the Premier League.
Liverpool and Manchester City have proved the runaway top-flight teams in recent seasons. City may have won four out of the past five titles, but the Reds have pushed them all the way for three of those – and triumphed in 2020.
This season, Pep Guardiola’s side are once again the firm favourites for the title. Liverpool, though, have suffered a slump and sit 10th – 13 points behind their rivals.
As such, Carragher raised eyebrows from Sky Sports presenter David Jones when he picked Virgil van Dijk in his three selections.
The ex-Liverpool centre-back began on Monday Night Football: “Kevin De Bruyne I think has been the best player in the league for four or five years, you’ve got to say Haaland now he is an absolute global superstar and despite his form this season I’m going to still say Virgil van Dijk.
“I think he’s been absolutely amazing over the last four or five years and transforming Liverpool from where they were when he came in to where they’ve been the last few years.”
Jones then asked Carragher if he wanted to take Van Dijk’s form this season into consideration. The Dutchman has faced criticism for dropping off and making mistakes.
Carragher replied: “No listen it hasn’t been great, but I’m not going to judge him based on eight games when he has been amazing for five years.”
That was the sentiment echoed by Jamie O’Hara on Monday. The pundit claimed Van Dijk’s drop in standards has led to a drop from everyone at Liverpool, detailing his importance.
Roy Keane disagrees with Carragher
Keane also put Man City stars De Bruyne and Haaland in his top three selections.
However, he put Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo in his trio instead of Van Dijk.
“De Bruyne, Haaland and Ronaldo,” former United midfielder Keane said. “De Bruyne, obviously I played in midfield and what he does week in week out consistently is fantastic.
“We’ve seen what Haaland has done already but obviously he’s new to the Premiership – amazing to see what he can achieve in the next few years, particularly playing with a really good team like City and obviously working with Pep [Guardiola].
“You have to get Ronaldo credit with last night [Sunday], scoring 700 goals in his career – amazing.”
Ronaldo hit the mark with Man Utd’s winning goal against Everton at Goodison Park. He has struggled for minutes and form this season after failing to seal a summer move away, but got himself back on the scoresheet.
Premier League picks a clear sign
The fact Keane and Carragher both put De Bruyne and Haaland in their picks is a sign of how clear Man City are from everyone else in the Premier League.
Arsenal may be keeping pace with them for now, but it remains unclear if they have enough depth and know-how to mount a sustained title charge.
City have proved that time and again since Guardiola took over and they are showing no signs of slowing down.
Indeed, De Bruyne has been one of the best Premier League midfielders since his move to City.
However, Norway striker Haaland has given him even more impetus to keep and raise those standards, the pair striking up a fantastic relationship to help City get goals.