Defending is a dying art form according to a lot of experts, the way to tackle, position and control the offense is being taken away with more emphasis on attacking play. In fact the last time, I remember a defender winning the Ballon d’Or was Fabio Cannovaro while he was at Real Madrid and this was years ago.
Fortunately, there still are some players who love to get into a tackle and provide the last line of defence, clearing the ball away and helping their team go forward in the attack. We look at the top 5 central defenders in the Premier League thanks to stats from Whoscored.com. For the sake of keeping it a level field, we will only look at those players who have played at least 20 games this season.
Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal
Koscielny was one of those players who took a bit of time to get accustomed to the league and after his first season, he has been a mainstay in the Arsenal defence. He is rated as the best central defender in the Premier League and has a rating of 7.4. Reliable and strong, Koscielny certainly has won over a lot of fans at Arsenal and looks set to help the team to FA Cup glory once again.
Martin Skrtel – Liverpool
The hard man at Liverpool, Martin Skrtel has been a rock for Liverpool and has easily been their best defender in a season to forget. He not only leads the team with the most clearances with 10.1 but, he has also been able to score important goals for the club in the last two seasons. He is known to be a tough player, everyone remembers the staples he received at the back of the head at home against Arsenal and he still managed to score in the 90th minute.
Phil Jagielka – Everton
The English defender hasn’t had the best of seasons, well Everton has not but Phil has stood out thanks to his defensive actions. He is one of the highest rated defenders, in fact, fourth on the list with 7.27 as a rating from Whoscored.com and the 32-year-old still has a couple of years left in him.
Curtis Davies – Hull City
Probably a surprise on the list but Curtis Davies has helped keep Hull City above the relegation zone and is the third highest in the list behind Koscielny and Skrtel, something he can be proud off. With a rating of 7.32, he still does have a huge part to play to keep Hull in the Premier League and who knows, he might be able to push them up a few more places as well.