Paul Robinson has hailed Pablo Zabaleta ‘one of the best ever’ as the right-back nears his exit from West Ham and the Premier League.
The former Spurs and Leeds United goalkeeper, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed the 35-year-old deserves huge credit for his ability to adapt to the physical demands of the modern game.
Zabaleta arrived at Manchester City in August 2008 and has gone on to make 412 appearances in English football – a two time-winner of the Premier League and League Cup twice whilst also winning the FA Cup once.
The former Argentina international, who is out of contract in June, announced at the beginning of the campaign this would be his final year with the Hammers and in England.
When asked whether the full-back would be remembered as one of the Premier League greats, Robinson told Football Insider: “He is one of the best right-backs the Premier League has ever seen. When he was in his prime at Manchester City he would be right up there with the best – without a doubt.
“With players like that, football has changed so much. It has evolved. It is a lifestyle, 24/7 and the fitness levels and dedication required now has changed.
“Zabaleta has evolved with the times and kept himself at a level where he can play football through the generations. He deserves a huge amount of credit because it is a big ask.”
Zabaleta has been limited to just 13 appearances this campaign and featured predominantly as a substitute.
David Moyes may not feel obliged to replace the veteran defender this summer with teenager Jeremy Ngakia impressing in his debut Premier League campaign.