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Alan Shearer has named Arsenal legend Tony Adams as the greatest centre-back to have played in the Premier League, ahead of Chelsea legendary defenders John Terry, Marcel Desailly and Ricardo Carvalho.
Asked to rank the Premier League’s best ever centre-backs, Shearer told BBC: “I would come off with cut eyes, a broken nose and cut lip after a game against [Tony Adams], but always shake hands.
“Not as good as Ferdinand at spraying the ball around but what a competitor.
“He was the best centre-half I’ve played against I think, in that era in terms of how aggressive you could be as a centre-half.
“He played in that back four that was unbelievable and had a great goalkeeper behind him.
“He was an unbelievable leader, organiser, tackler, he could play as well, he was tough. The best centre-half I’ve ever played against.”
In second place, Shearer chose Chelsea icon Terry, who won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, as well as the Champions League and Europa League over an illustrious 18-year spell at Stamford Bridge.
“The number of times we’ve sat and discussed [Virgil] van Dijk’s diagonal balls into the forwards at Liverpool [is huge], but Terry could do that with either foot, he could play in the modern game no problem,” Shearer added.
Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk is the only current player on Shearer’s list, while Rio Ferdinand, Vincent Kompany, Nemanja Vidic, Marcel Desailly, Jaap Stam, Gary Pallister and Ricardo Carvalho make up the rest of his top 10.
Shearer’s top 10 best ever Premier League centre-backs:
10 Ricardo Carvalho
9 Gary Pallister
8 Jaap Stam
7 Marcel Desailly
6 Nemanja Vidic
5 Vincent Kompany
4 Virgil van Dijk
3 Rio Ferdinand
2 John Terry
1 Tony Adams