The 2022/23 Premier League season has been filled with goals galore, mind-boggling saves, entertainment and drama. In addition, there have been also been examples of great defending, both individually and collectively.
Most of the usual suspects have continued to excel at the heart of the defence this term, but there have been some surprise stars too. That being said, here are the three best-performing defenders in the Premier League 2022/23 season so far.
William Saliba has been excellent at the heart of Arsenal’s defence, forming a strong partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes.
The Frenchman, 21, has transformed this Arsenal backline, helping Mikel Arteta’s side enjoy the joint-best defensive record in the division. Conceding only 11 goals in 14 games is a mighty achievement, and the 21-year-old has played a major role in tightening the screws at the back for the Gunners upon his return from a successful loan spell with Ligue 1 side Marseille.
In addition to his passing ability, physicality, power, leadership skills and aerial ability, Saliba has also chipped in with two goals and an assist, demonstrating the attacking side of his game. If he continues to develop at this rate, the Frenchman has the potential to become one of the best defenders in world football.
One of the key factors in Newcastle United’s evolution has been the summer signing of Sven Botman, who has taken to life in the Premier League like a duck to water following his move from Ligue 1 club Lille, one that had been met by many raised eyebrows then.
It has not taken long for Botman to show that the Magpies had actually struck gold, a real top-drawer defender in the making, and one of the best in his positions in his age category. The Dutchman has become a formidable force at the back as his partnership with Fabian Schar is touted among the best in the country.
Newcastle are the division’s joint-best meanest defensive unit alongside Arsenal, conceding only 11 goals in 14 games, and Botman, with his passing range, reading of the game and physical qualities, has played a major role in the transformation of the Tyneside-based side that was leaking goals for fun last term.
Few players have had as many doubters as Lisandro Martinez this year, and few have silenced them quite as emphatically as him.
After a tough start to life in the Premier League, where Manchester United lost their opening two games, Martinez, 24, has become a mainstay in Erik ten Hag’s defence with a series of dominant displays.
Despite early criticism from media and pundits alike due to his 5’7′ frame, the Argentinean international has kept himself calm and let his football do the talking, thereby, quickly becoming a fan favourite at Old Trafford and proving his detractors wrong. His presence has not only solidified Man United’s backline but also given confidence to players such as David de Gea, Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw.
For his impressive performances in a Man United shirt, Martinez has been called up to Lionel Scaloni’s 26-man Argentina squad for the upcoming Qatar World Cup.