The big defender, winner of our Opta Index Player of the Month for both October and November, takes his place with the Premiership's best after his display against West Brom on Sunday.
Here is Opta's Team of the Week in full and their findings...
Shay Given (Newcastle)
Shay Given produced a series of saves to ensure victory for the Magpies against a Villa team who had previously netted a dozen times in their last three home outings.
Sun Jihai (Manchester City)
City’s Chinaman was in excellent form against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, contributing much in defence and attack. At the back he made eight tackles while finding time to get forward and strike the team’s second goal.
Martin Djetou (Fulham)
Switched to central defence for the visit of Leeds, Martin Djetou still managed to shine in both halves of the pitch. The French international made four telling interceptions at the back and scored with a thumping header.
Dean Richards (Tottenham)
With 10 headed clearances, two blocks and an interception, Dean Richards certainly played his part in keeping West Brom at bay. A further half dozen tackles helped Spurs to another three points at home.
Ashley Cole (Arsenal)
Despite finishing on the losing side, Ashley Cole did his utmost to quash the attacking might of the United frontrunners. The pacy full-back lunged into seven tackles, winning possession five times.
Joe Cole (West Ham)
Handed the captaincy at the Riverside, Joe Cole led by example. The diminutive midfielder broke the deadlock seconds after the interval with an angled drive — his only shot of the game.
Juan Sebastian Veron (Manchester Utd)
'Seba' Veron lit up Old Trafford midway through the first period with his first Premiership goal of the campaign. The combative Argentine complimented his offensive game with an unrivalled tally of seven successful challenges.
Paul Scholes (Manchester Utd)
Two moments of decisive right-footed play earned the Red Devils maximum points against Arsenal and Paul Scholes provided both of them. After setting up the opener, the United playmaker rifled home the second after 73 minutes.
Gary Naysmith (Everton)
With his second strike in four days against Chelsea, Gary Naysmith offered Everton half-time hope on Saturday. The Scot forced Carlo Cudicini to save in the second period and whipped over seven crosses from the left.
James Beattie (Southampton)
South-coast hitman James Beattie stormed to the top of the Premiership goal charts with a brace against Birmingham. The Saint has now struck 11 times in his last eight matches, including five penalties.
Steed Malbranque (Fulham)
A shortage of strikers saw Steed Malbranque deployed just behind Luis Boa Morte up front and the move paid dividends. The Frenchman tested Leeds’ Paul Robinson three times and was also denied by the woodwork.
Dean Richards has again underlined his fine current form by making it into Opta Index's statistical Team of the Week.