Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher could not agree on who the three best players currently operating in the Premier League are.
That debate has become rife among fans and pundits alike since Erling Haaland’s arrival at Manchester City, with the Norwegian international’s ludicrous exploits in front of goal inspiring many to claim he is one of the best players the division has to offer. Haaland has 15 goals in just nine Premier League games so far this term.
Pressed for comment on who made his top three as part of Sky Sports’ Monday night football coverage of Aston Villa’s trip to Nottingham Forest, Keane was confident in the players he had selected as the most talented trio around.
“[Kevin] De Bruyne, Haaland and [Cristiano] Ronaldo,” the Manchester United legend explained. “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, scoring 700 goals in his career – amazing,” Keane added. However, it goes without saying that Carragher wasn’t entirely convinced by one of Keane’s selections, as made clear by his own choices.
“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.”
For all the praise, Van Dijk’s stuttering form has hardly helped an out-of-form Liverpool side try to get out of their slump. Jurgen Klopp’s side are stuck in mid-table after Sunday’s defeat at Arsenal kept them on 10 points.
Grilled on the central defender’s less than stellar showings this season, Carragher defended his decision by adding: “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.”
Considering how often the duo disagree, the fact that they agreed on two of their top three players is impressive. Carragher has made his feelings clear on Ronaldo and the forward’s return to Old Trafford a number of times.
The former Liverpool star feels that the 37-year-old five-time Ballon d’Or winner is more of a hinderance than a help to the cause at United. Indeed, he and Keane have locked horns on the subject, with things getting particularly heated last November.