These midfielders do not just drive the ball forward but also engage the opponent to defend their teams
Defender midfielders are a central part of any football club because they are expected to attack and defend as per the game’s situation. Known for wearing the jersey numbers six and eight, defensive midfielders are bestowed with the job to drive the ball forward and reach back to their own half for defending when demanded. In the current season of 20/21, some defensive midfielders have set the stage on fire in Europe by displaying a balanced performance throughout the year. In this piece, let’s have a look at the leading defensive midfielders from Europe’s top five football leagues.
Joshua Kimmich- Since the beginning of his career, Joshua Kimmich has done incredibly well in his career as a defensive midfielder. A consistent performer, 26-year-old Germany’s Kimmich plays for Bayern Munich and in the ongoing season of 20/21, Kimmich has recorded two goals and 10 assists for Bayern. To defend his team, he has picked up three yellow cards so far, which demonstrates that Kimmich is deeply committed.
N’Golo Kanté- The 29-year-old from France who is prominent for his clever positioning and endless running, N’Golo Kanté has proved to be a world-class player for English club Chelsea. In the 20/21 season, Kanté being a regular starter has performed in 36 matches across all the major European tournaments and has assisted on three occasions.
Rodri- The 24-year-old young lad plays for Premier League club Manchester City. Last year, Rodri was new to the team and grappled to cope with the playing style, pace and pressure of the Premier League. This season, Rodri is an improved man who has scored one goal and four assists from 41 outings across all competitions. He has provided a balance in the team’s midfield and it seems, he is ready to take the baton from Fernandinho.
Casemiro- This man requires no introduction, as the Brazilian defensive midfielder has consistently performed for Real Madrid over the past few seasons. In the ongoing season of 20/21, Casemiro has appeared in 33 games so far and has scored six assists along with three goals. There’s no doubt that Casemiro is and will remain at the helm of Real Madrid’s defensive midfield affairs.
Honourable mentions- Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Fabinho (Liverpool), Frenkie de Jong (FC Barcelona) and Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan).