Willaim Gallas has admitted that Ledley King was one of the best central defenders in the world, remarking that it was unfortunate that the Spurs legend could now showcase his best owing to his injury troubles.
The centre-back was considered by many to be one of the most talented defenders of his generation but he was sidelined by chronic knee injuries in the latter part of his career, forcing him to eventually call time at the age of 31.
Spurs fans certainly felt a sense of calm when they saw King’s name on the teamsheet as he would lead from the front on the pitch despite not being able to train during the week.
Gallas only played alongside the 43-year-old for the final two seasons of his career until the former Tottenham captain hung up his boots in 2012, but the Frenchman admitted that he could see just how good his teammate was.
Ledley King could have been one of the best
Gallas told Lord Ping: “I had the chance to play with Ledley King, and he was almost always injured, and he couldn’t play his best football.
“Before the injuries, though, he was one of the best centre-backs around. I didn’t know him well, but I played against him, and he was just magnificent. He had everything – the technique, the physicality, and he could read the game very well.
“When I joined Tottenham, I started to learn about him and his injury issues. I know it was really hard for him because we spoke to each other a lot. I know how down he felt.
“He missed out on some great years. When your mind is not fully free and you’re worried about injuries, it can really affect your football. I know it was really difficult for him.
“He could’ve been one of the best defenders in the world. He had so much quality. What surprised me was seeing him play in midfield in Euro 2004, just in front of the centre-backs. He was magnificent.
“It’s not easy to play in a different position, but his technique and quality made it easy for him. Ledley was, for me, a player of the highest quality, and it was a shame that he never fully showcased his ability.”
Spurs Web Opinion
While Spurs fans will look back and wonder just how good a player King would have been if not for his knee issues, the reality is that there was very little chance that he would have stayed at Tottenham for the entirety of his career if he did not have those problems.
Chances are that he would have been tempted to join one of the biggest clubs in Europe around the age of 26 or 27, especially considering that Spurs were a mid-table side back then.
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