The centre-back earned his first minutes of the season by playing the full match against Brighton & Hove Albion, and Hodgson took the chance when asked to explain his defensive and leadership qualities.
"First of all he’s a very, very good defender," the manager said. "His position is very good, he’s exceptionally good in the air, he’s a strong challenger for the ball and a very good blocker of the ball. These are the defensive qualities we don’t talk about every day... They’re the qualities that get you the clean sheets.
"He’s also brought us leadership qualities, he’s been very good leadership-wise. He’s the best type of leader; he’s the quiet leader people don't see from Row Z in the stand. He’s the leader we see in training week to week.
"We’re very fortunate, we have two very good leaders in that respect: club captain Luka Milivojevic and Gary Cahill, who I guess is a vice captain. And also Scott Dann."
Hodgson went on to maintain his focus on the game's defensive side, and also discussed the wider clash - with Palace securing a point against the Seagulls.
"It was a really hard working defensive display," he said. "I think maybe in the second-half towards the end we were slightly guilty of protecting that lead, not looking to go forward and increase the lead, especially after [Michy] Batshuayi’s disallowed goal.
"Unfortunately these things happen - it was quite a large deflection that took the ball past [Vicente] Guaita to hand them the equalising goal, which, to be fair, they’re probably saying they deserved.
"It was certainly keenly contested; both teams fought hard. We came so close to taking the prize, but we were robbed of it right at the very end. But we weren’t robbed of the result because, in the second-half in particular, Brighton asked a lot of questions about our defence. I’m very proud of our defence because they answered those questions until last three or four minutes."
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