Leicester City defender Wes Morgan is simply the best - Nigel Pearson
There is no better defender outside the Premier League than Leicester City captain Wes Morgan, believes his manager Nigel Pearson.
Morgan has been outstanding this season and leads the team out against Birmingham at St Andrew's this afternoon.
He was nominated for the Championship player of the month award for September – a rare accolade for a defender.
Pearson said he has been building his team around the 28-year-old, who joined City last January after spending 13 years with Nottingham Forest.
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"Wes has continued to be a dominant figure for us," said Pearson.
"He was last season in what was, for the club, in many ways a frustrating season.
"He is a key part of the rebuilding of this football club. Again this season, his performances have been of a consistently high standard and, on top of that, he represents a very positive figure in the dressing room.
"It is not just about performances, he brings an awful lot more. I am delighted we have got him playing for us.
"I am not sure there is a better defender outside of the Premier League."
Pearson said Morgan was the sort of captain who leads by example and commands respect.
"I think the players have an awful lot of respect for him," he added.
"He is a quiet man. He is not overly vocal but he leads by example. He is a thinker and, on top of that, he has been performing very, very well.
"He is the type of player that we were crying out for here and the type of player that managers like to build sides around."
Pearson admitted that Morgan's emergence has even surprised him since signing from Forest.
At a press conference this week, he was asked: "Better than you thought?"
"Yes, and I think he has got even more room for improvement," Pearson replied.
"He is much, much fitter than when he came to us. His physical condition is much better.
"When you have been at a club for such a long time it can be tough, and Nottingham Forest will always hold a special place for him as it was a club he was at for an awful long time
"But a player sometimes needs a fresh challenge and we represented a good challenge for him and a realistic opportunity for him to get to where he wants to be."