Former Leeds United left-back Ian Harte has told Sky Sports that Jonathan Woodgate would have been a better defender than Rio Ferdinand had he not suffered with injuries throughout his career.
Harte played with both Woodgate and Ferdinand at West Yorkshire outfit Leeds.
The former Republic of Ireland international started his professional club career at the Whites and played for them until 2004.
Woodgate also commenced his career at Leeds and was on the books of the Elland Road outfit until 2003.
Ferdinand, who went on to establish himself as one of the greatest defenders in Manchester United history, played for Leeds for two years between 2000 and 2002.
Harte, who retired from professional football at the end of last season, has said that Woodgate would have been a better centre-back than Ferdinand had he remained fit.
“He was one of the best, I think,” Harte told Sky Sports about Woodgate. “If he was fit, he probably would been better than Rio. Unfortunately, too many injuries.”
Woodgate showed during his time at Leeds what he was capable of, and after a spell at Newcastle United earned the move to European powerhouse Real Madrid in the summer of 2004.
The former England international failed to make an impact at the Santiago Bernabeu due to his injury problems and returned to England before long.
Amazingly, Woodgate is still playing. The former Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City centre-back is on the books of Middlesbrough at the moment and will hope to help them get promoted to the Premier League at the end of the season.