The defensive midfielder is the backbone of a team!
In today's football, a defensive midfielder must consistently perform at their peak for 90 minutes, operating with their engine running at maximum capacity. These players must be tireless pressers with the ability to analyse and respond to every conceivable situation. Additionally, they must showcase skill on the ball, adept at intricately manoeuvring it in close quarters or delivering precise long-range passes.
Recognition can be challenging for those playing the anchor role, especially on the best teams globally. However, every great team often relies on a 'number six' to orchestrate proceedings. The enjoyable aspect, at least for us, lies in the ongoing debate about who stands out as the best in this crucial position. Opinions naturally vary on who deserves the title of top defensive midfielder.
Rodri initially faced challenges adapting to the intensity of Premier League football but has since become one of the standout defensive midfielders. Currently, he has reclaimed his top form, displaying exceptional skills and effectively succeeding Fernandinho in his role. His stature was further enhanced by scoring the decisive goal in the Champions League final, solidifying his position as the best in his current role.
When it comes to midfield enforcers, Casemiro is a force to be reckoned with, displaying an unmatched level of skill on the ball that many aspire to achieve. His significance to Real Madrid has been indisputable, and the team's performance in his absence will be closely watched.
Similarly, at Manchester United, Casemiro has evolved into an irreplaceable asset. His occasional suspensions are met with a sense of impending doom, underscoring his crucial role on the team.
Joshua Kimmich stands out as one of contemporary football's most versatile elite players. His exceptional skills and Bayern Munich's achievements, including the 2020 Champions League triumph and ongoing Bundesliga dominance, showcase their collective prowess. Kimmich's outstanding performance in the midfield's anchor position has been a critical factor in their success, skillfully controlling the game and disrupting the opposition's play at an unparalleled level.
Real Madrid had been monitoring Aurelien Tchouameni during his tenure at Monaco, likely impressed by his significant defensive contributions, notably in tackles and interceptions. Despite a €100 million price tag, the expectations for the latest Galactico are substantial. However, the initial season fell short of those expectations.
Sandro Tonali, often considered one of the future stars of Italian football, is set to captivate English audiences following his £55 million transfer from AC Milan. His pivotal role as a regista was instrumental in the Rossoneri's title victory in 2021/22, showcasing his exceptional game-reading skills and the ability to deliver menacing passes from deep positions.
Declan Rice has shown remarkable improvement in recent years and is entrusted with spearheading Arsenal's midfield. His exceptional tackling prowess sets him apart, and he's increasingly becoming a formidable presence in the attacking aspect of the game as well.
As the leading tackler in the Premier League last season, it's safe to say that Fulham's survival wouldn't have been possible without Joao Palhinha. The club is fortunate to retain his services for another season, especially after his proposed move to Bayern Munich fell through.
In the previous season, Alexis Mac Allister primarily played as a box-to-box midfielder for Brighton and Hove Albion. However, since joining Liverpool, he has taken on a holding role, and his performance in this position has been exceptional.
Currently, these players are constantly changing the idiom of their position. With year of ushering football into a very new and exciting direction!