“He reminds me a bit more of Jaap Stam.”
Ruben Dias has not been short of plaudits in recent months and the Manchester City defender’s debut campaign in England was deservedly rewarded with the Premier League Player of the Year award.
Dias’ performances since last September’s switch from Benfica have been nothing short of phenomenal and his impact has been likened to that of Virgil van Dijk when he joined Liverpool.
While both Van Dijk and Dias brought reliable and composed presences to their respective clubs’ defences, they are very different players.
Former Republic of Ireland international Tony Cascarino believes that Dias is much more like former United centre-half Jaap Stam than Van Dijk.
Cascarino contrasted Dias with Van Dijk and explained why the Portuguese defender reminds him of Stam, who won three Premier League titles with United.
“The narrative is obviously being a winner you win things,” Cascarino said on talkSPORT.
Tony Cascarino on Ruben Dias
“Dias had a tremendous season, that’s not even up for debate. He was outstanding. He very rarely got in trouble. There were only a couple of times when people got the wrong side of him.
“He reminds me a bit more of Jaap Stam. When Jaap came to Man United he was a really top defender.
“I always felt Jaap Stam was really hard to get past. He used his upper body strength a lot and did the simple things.
“Virgil van Dijk won it [the PFA Player of the Year award] as a defender. Virgil is more of a composed passer, user of the ball, he plays great balls over the top of defenders.
“He was using that slightly different role where I feel Dias got it, gave it to a player close to him and did his job brilliantly.”