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5 defensive midfielders in the world right now

There may never have been a crop of holding midfielders as good as the one we have now - most on our list can also play further up the pitch or even at the back. Here we pick our top 5 defensive midfielders with the best tackling ability in the world right now. 

5 Manuel Locatelli (Juventus)

Manuel Locatelli is a right-footed central midfielder by trade, who operates mainly from the middle third of the pitch which can be clearly seen from the player’s heat map below. The Italian covers a large space across the field, favouring an advanced position in the middle third. The heat map also implies that the midfielder often progresses into the final third, where he has a significant impact on both sides of the game.

4 Casemiro (Real Madrid)

Real Madrid defensive midfielder Casemiro has been the MVP on a team filled with superstars, as he’s the tireless glue guy who keeps the world’s best defense – and arguably the world’s best midfield – in top shape.

The Brazil international’s technical ability, intelligence, and attacking intent are easy to underrate but should not be overlooked. Recently, this attacking prowess has come to the forefront. 

3 N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)

Kanté’s position is central midfielder, his role however, can vary based on systematic requirements, a coach’s preference or the game state. Typically, Kanté has been earmarked as a “destroyer” that is, shutting down the opposition’s play in midfield, outside, and just about everywhere. But, as I argue, he is so much more. Here are some misconceptions about Kanté that have been dispelled time and time again, not via his words, of which they are few and far between, but by his remarkable ability and spectacular performances. 

2 Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion)

No player in the Seagulls squad even comes close to Bissouma in the tackling ranks this season. The midfield enforcer has completed an average of three tackles per game so far (51 overall) this season - comfortably the highest figure in the Brighton squad. However, his combative nature does see him occasionally overstep the mark. 

1 Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)

It is worth noting first that Kante plays in a more possession-based team than Ndidi, and so naturally, he has less defensive work to do than the Nigerian. Ndidi doesn’t play for relegation fodder either, as his team has averaged 54 percent possession since the start of last season, compared to Kante’s 58 percent. Ndidi plays for a Premier League side that presses a lot, and he’s therefore no stranger to team that requires its players keep up a high work rate. He doesn’t allow opponents time on the ball, either.

Content created and supplied by: SPORTLIVE (via Opera News )

Brazil Casemiro Italian Juventus Manuel Locatelli


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