Crystal Palace stopper inferior to Southampton equivalent as heir to Chelsea skipper

According to reports in the Mirror, Chelsea have designs on signing Crystal Palace defender Scott Dann as a successor to aging club legend John Terry.

The Blues have had representatives watching the 28-year-old in almost every match this season it is alleged, with Dann in line to double his £60,000-a-week wages should he make the switch to Stamford Bridge.

Undoubtedly one of the Eagles star performers, the former Birmingham and Blackburn centre-back is savouring an excellent season, but whether he has the pedigree to replace a stopper as stellar as Terry is questionable.

Aerial dominance and leadership skills are just two of the many qualities that have enabled the Chelsea captain to be so successful this term and Dann is equipped with both.

But, at nearly 29 years of age, it’s debatable whether the west Londoners should be considering the Liverpool-born defender an heir to Terry’s throne.

The solution to their quandary, however, could still be found in the midranges of the Premier League.

Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk is just 24 and has been displaying several qualities the elite centre-back must have during his short stint in English football.

The totemic Dutchman has won more headers than any defensive colleague in the country this term, prevailing in 81 of his 111 contested aerial battles.

It’s not far off double the 49 Dann has managed from 95 attempts, with his win percentage of 51.3% way below Van Dijk’s 73%.

He has dispossessed more adversaries than the Palace ace too, winning 69.7% of his tackles compared to the 58.6% mustered by the Eagles defender.

In addition to this, Van Dijk has made more recoveries than Dann (86 to 79), as well as interceptions (43 to 37) and clearances too (120 to 114).

Statistically speaking, the Southampton rearguard marshal has been the superior defender this term, while the near-five years he has on his Palace counterpart deem him a better fit as far as finding a long-term alternative to Terry is concerned too.

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Having contributed to a variety of sports betting-based journalistic mediums, James joined the bwin fraternity in early 2014. He is an avid Middlesbrough Football Club fan who frequently foresees defeats for both Newcastle and Sunderland while, in spite of his age, he remains an unashamed follower of wrestling results.