After 38 long weeks of intense Premier League action, Manchester City emerged as the runaway Champions while West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Swansea City dropped out of the top flight. Some of the other teams may have met their season goals while others will look back to try and take positives from this season.
So this is a good time to try and assess how individual players have performed and we start with the top-3 defenders. While the Manchester clubs have been superb at the back, West Ham and Watford have been woeful but have managed to survive the drop.
But who has been the most effective defender in the league this season? Here are the three best defenders for the 2017-18 PL season in no particular order:
Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur):
One of the most consistent defenders in the top flight of English football for a couple of years now, Belgian international Vertonghen was once again superb at the back for Spurs. With 170 clearances and 64 tackles to his name, he was Spurs’ best defender this season statistically. In the absence of Toby Alderweireld for most of the campaign, he took on the role of the senior CB and alongside Davinson Sanchez, helped Tottenham Hotspur build a solid foundation for their gameplay. Surely, he has been one of the best defenders this season in the league.
Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion):
Though not a household name yet, the 26-year old was one of the main reasons for The Seagulls avoiding the drop this season. Showing great strength and confidence against the best of the sides, Duffy has 327 clearances and 59 blocks and was exceptional for Chris Hughton’s entourage. In that system used by the manager, Duffy did pretty well to keep his goal away from danger and deserves to stand as one of the best defenders in the league this season.
Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City):
Though Pep Guardiola’s men were rarely troubled at the back, Argentine ace Otamendi had a lot to do with how easy they made it look. Showing confidence to play from the back and to keep his discipline intact for the entire season, Otamendi has easily been the most improved player for City this season and is certainly one of the best defenders in the league at the moment. He had Vincent Kompany, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones taking turns to play alongside him in the backline but he managed to help his team keep more clean sheets and concede fewer goals than any other team in the top flight this season and deserves his place as one of the best defenders in the league. And in an astounding stat, he emerged as the player with the most number of passes in the whole season.
Stats Courtesy: Whoscored