With centre-backs like Virgil Van Dijk and Aymeric Laporte ready to put their lives on the line in order to save goals, the standard of defending has certainly gone upwards in England.
But apart from the Liverpool and Manchester City defender, there are a number of players performing brilliantly at their clubs. After 22 weeks of football, who amongst them is in the top 5 centre backs?
5. Shane Duffy:
Just like the last season, Shane Duffy has silently continued his brilliant performances at Brighton. The 27-year old has made 136 clearances, 24 blocks and league-best 93 headed clearances in 19 games. And like a cherry on the top, Duffy has also scored 4 goals, most by a defender in EPL this season.
4. Antonio Rudiger:
Manchester City and Chelsea are joint second on the list of best defensive record this season with just 17 goals conceded. And the main reason behind Chelsea’s numbers is none other than Antonio Rudiger. The German has settled in nicely under Maurizio Sarri with calm and composed passing from the back.
3. John Stones:
The Englishman might be prone to mistakes while playing as a CDM but when he is deployed at his usual centre-back position, John Stones is one hell of a player. The 24-year old proved his worth by pulling off an almost impossible goal-line clearance against Liverpool and continued his form against Wolves.
2. Aymeric Laporte:
It really says a lot about Laporte when you realize that the Frenchman has gone on to become the first name on Pep Guardiola’s team-sheet in less than a year at Manchester City. Laporte has started 21 games this season with 1865 passes completed, second most in the Premier League.
1. Virgil Van Dijk:
No debate here – Virgil Van Dijk is, without a doubt, the best centre-back in the Premier League right now. The Dutchman has been absolutely phenomenal for Liverpool so far and with his at the top centre-back and Alisson as the top goalkeeper, it is no surprise that the Reds have conceded just 10 goals this season.
PS: It is the games like 1-0 win against Brighton where Virgil Van Dijk makes you believe that it is indeed Liverpool’s year.