Former Liverpool footballer Jamie Redknapp has compared Manchester City defender Ruben Dias to Manchester United legend Nemanja Vidic. The former Benfica man was in the thick of things once again on Sunday as Pep Guardiola’s side secured a 1-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates.
Dias is a product of the Benfica academy, which he joined in 2008 before making his first-team debut in 2017. Manchester City secured the player’s signature in September 2020 and Ruben Dias has repaid their trust with a string of assured performances that have seen Guardiola’s wards go ten points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Dias helped Manchester City keep another clean sheet over the weekend against Arsenal. Speaking after the game, Redknapp pointed out that Ruben Dias has the ability to lift the performances of players around him, akin to Nemanja Vidic at Manchester United. The Englishman also believes the Portuguese is the main reason for the improvement in Manchester City’s backline this season.
“They’ve found a partnership at the back that’s so assured [with him and John Stones]. I don't think anybody could’ve expected Ruben Dias would make the impact he is. He’s a leader of men. He goes over to give a high five. Like Vidic at United, Kompany, they have an effect on everyone around them,” said Redknapp.
“Last year, after 25 games, they had conceded 29 goals. But this year they’ve conceded 15 [at the same stage of the season], and a lot of that is to do with Dias. He was captain of Benfica at 19. Certain players come in and change a team. They weren't at their scintillating best today, but they were so assured [defensively]. It was pretty routine for them,” he continued.
The Ruben Dias – John Stones partnership has served Manchester City well
Since arriving at Manchester City, Ruben Dias has helped the club keep 14 clean sheets in his 22 games. He has also forged a fantastic partnership with John Stones, helping the Englishman rediscover his form, even though that has relegated Aymeric Laporte to the bench.
Redknapp was quick to acknowledge his countryman’s recent turn of fortunes and believes the Manchester City defender is among the best in Europe on current form.
“Laporte is a very good player, and I thought it would be Laporte and Dias [as the defensive partnership], but Stones has got his head down and right now looks as good as any center-back in Europe,” said Redknapp.