As we came to the close of yet another season it is time for us to evaluate on the highs and lows. Here is a look at the top 3 defenders that outshone and outdid themselves. Let us take a look.
Virgil van Dijk
This 25-year-old Dutch has surprised many with his athleticism and skill in the Premier League. Although featuring only 21 times in the 1st team sheet of Southampton, Dijk has earned fair praise for his composure and vision in defence.
The Southampton man has a goal to his name in his 1,852 minutes of Premier League action. With a pass success rate of 84% the defender oozes composure and calmness in defence, traits much sought in a defender.
But what stands out most is his total of 54 interceptions, proving the fact that he also has the vision to block passes early into the box.(Stats via PremierLeague)
Reported interests from Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool alike will test the club’s mettle in retaining this star player.
It is safe to stay he is at present one of the top 3 defenders in the Premier League.
On our no. 2 on the list we have.
The Belgian has taken great strides under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino. His rock solid stature and defensive techniques have made Tottenham a formidable force in the League. Vertonghen has been one of the main reasons for Tottenham’s stellar defensive record (they have only conceded 23, lowest in the PL).
Although in his 31 appearances he has not managed to put his name in the score or assist sheet still his outstanding defensive record makes up for more than that.
The Spurs centre-back has made a mind-boggling 224 clearances, 37 interceptions for the team and has an accurate pass percentage of 85%. He also boasts of a tackle success rate of about 77%.
His calmness along with dominance over aerial duels have been one of the many reasons Spurs have been tough to break at the back.(Stats via PremierLeague)
And now our Man of the Season, our No. 1.
The main man, the architect and the engine of Chelsea team, 26-year old who never seems to tire running up and down the pitch.
The Spaniard has executed the vision of Conte’s full back to absolute precision whether it be making runs down the wing for attack or to come back and defend, we have seen it all from the man. He has made a total of 31 appearances for the Chelsea first team.
Other than scoring a remarkable 6 goals and 3 assists for the London Blues, he has made a stunning 43 interceptions and 76 clearances. He has also produced 23 key passes for the team with an average of 41 passes per game.(Stats via PremierLeague)
Alonso’s vision and creativity have made him a threat for his opponents and his strength and endurance makes him an enviable defender that any manager would like to have in their team.
It should come as no surprise to seem him in the top of the list. His importance and impact in the Chelsea team was felt even more in the matches he could not play due to injury. Chelsea’s success in keeping the maximum number of clean sheets this season should also be somewhat attributed to Alonso’s contribution.
Fans would be excited to see the Spaniard maintain his form through the next season.