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Premier League: Shortest centre-backs

Lisandro Martinez
  • Being a centre-back involves a lot of aerial combat, and fans always express concerns when they have a short defender
  • Here are the shortest centre-backs in the Premier League

Being a centre-back involves a lot of aerial combat, and fans always express concerns when they have a short defender.

An old saying in boxing states that “a good large guy always beats a good tiny man,” implying that the bigger man will always win if all other factors (skill, age, fitness, etc.) are equal. Similar presumptions have historically been made regarding centre-backs, with height frequently seen as a requirement for success in the position.

Franco Baresi and Fabio Cannavaro, who were both 5 feet 9 inches (175.2 cm) tall, were exceptions to the rule, but they were sometimes viewed as outliers who were able to compensate for their lack of height in other ways, such as pace, persistence, the ability to read the game, and technical skill.

Although height might frequently be an asset for a professional athlete, it isn’t always the deciding factor in a defender’s capacity to defend his goal or, more specifically, to compete in the air.

Here are the shortest centre-backs in the Premier League.

8. Ben Godfrey – Everton (184cm)

Godfrey’s all-out efforts have made him a fan favourite at Goodison Park at the age of 24, where he is already somewhat of a mainstay for Everton. The former Norwich City starlet, who frequently plays alongside the 6ft 5in Yerry Mina, makes up for his lack of height with skill on the ball and, despite the Toffees’ miserable two seasons since his arrival, has a promising future ahead of him.

7. Ezri Konsa – Aston Villa (183cm)


Konsa plays for Aston Villa.|PHOTO: Getty Images|

Moving down a millimetre to Villa Park, Konsa proved himself in the Championship despite his little stature and, like Godfrey, is still a talent with more to give at the age of 24. We’ll have to wait until August to see the former Brentford and Charlton Athletic prospect again because he is out with a knee injury.

6. Calum Chambers – Aston Villa (182cm)

Even at the age of 27, Chambers’ career still doesn’t seem to have taken off. The right-footer, a Southampton academy graduate, has played a number of positions but currently seems destined to play centre defence. Konsa is expected to spend another season primarily on the bench at Aston Villa despite the fact that star acquisition Diego Carlos has just arrived there.

5. Marc Guehi – Crystal Palace (182cm)

Guehi, a former Chelsea player despite his successful loan season with Swansea City in 2020–2021, has been active at Crystal Palace proving his sceptics wrong. The 22-year-old, who is already an England international and has previously proven himself as a leader by leading the Three Lions’ under-21 team and Selhurst Park on occasion, is now prepared to display his talents to the world.

4. Thiago Silva – Chelsea (181cm)

Thiago Silva

Thiago Silva is an experienced defender despite his height.|PHOTO: Getty Images|

Speaking of individuals who have demonstrated their abilities to the world, Thiago Silva is among the best centre-backs of his generation. Although the Brazilian is not as swift across the ground, his knowledge and impeccable timing have almost completely overshadowed his modest stature.

3. Nathan Ake – Manchester City (180cm)

Ake, a two-time Premier League winner, is the perfect example for short defenders to imitate. When City delayed his £45 million move, he was on the verge of joining Silva and Koulibaly at Stamford Bridge. The Dutchman is left-footed, assured with the ball, and quick, which are all qualities that make a top defender.

2. Cesar Azpilicueta – Chelsea (178cm)

Although Chelsea mainstay Azpilicueta, who is currently in second position, isn’t exactly a centre-back, there’s no denying that the Spaniard can perform the job – and do it well – given that he’s played 127 club games there. The Blues skipper has undoubtedly had it tough playing against the dominant No. 9s in English football, but his glistening trophy collection says it all.

1. Lisandro Martinez – Man Utd (175cm)

Lisandro Martinez

Lisandro Martinez is the shortest centre-back in the Premier League.|PHOTO: GOal|

Martinez is the shortest centre-back in the Premier League, measuring barely 5’9″.

Martinez, 25, has become a fan favourite since joining the Red Devils from Ajax last summer.

The Argentine defender is one of the team’s most popular players, with the shout “Argentina! Argentina!” routinely resonating around Old Trafford. He is admired for his “do or die” attitude and dedication to the cause.

In spite of the 25-year-extensive old’s coaching experience prior to joining United, critics and opposition supporters were quick to dismiss him due to his height.


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