Stoke’s Marc Muniesa has hailed fellow defender Ryan Shawcross as “one of the best” centre backs in the Premier League.
The former Barcelona man enjoyed a fine spell alongside Shawcross towards the end of last season before injury allowed Philipp Wollacheid to take his place.
Shawcross has a reputation for being an overly physical and unsophisticated defender, which has arguably unfairly held him back from gaining more international recognition with England, but Muniesa insists that he is much more than that.
“Ryan is a really good defender and I enjoy playing next to him,” he told Duck Magazine.
“For me, he’s one of the best in the Premier League. He knows exactly what qualities he has. He has superb concentration and tactically he’s good too.
“A lot of people had told me how physical it would be, being a defender in the Premier League. But a defender has to also be intelligent, be good on the ball, and good tactically.
“When I play next to him and I want to go forward he sometime shouts me back, ‘Stay here!’ I like getting in front of players, getting the ball and playing. I also learned a lot off Huthy (former Stoke defender Robert Huth), too.”
Muniesa has started just five Premier League games this season as the Potters have put themselves in a position to fight for European qualification, with ust one of those starts coming after September 12.
However, he says he is prepared to wait patiently for his chance to shine again, adding: “I know it will be hard to get back in, but I will wait for my chance.”