Light Red

As promised yesterday, here is the continuation and conclusion of our look at the central defenders who feature the most for the top six Premier League clubs.

We haven’t looked at all the different permutations which are available at the big clubs where they will usually have four centre backs competing for the two places in the team, we have just looked at the two who have started the most games this season for whatever reason.

It should also be remembered that many good centre-backs nowadays can play in more than one position which greatly enhances their value to the team and gives them a better chance of playing.

Yesterday we featured Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool so today it is the turn of the other three.


Manchester City

John Stones & Nicolas Otamendi

Stones has now been with City for just over a year and is beginning to look like the player Pep Guardiola always said he would be. A ball-playing defender cut from the same cloth as Rio Ferdinand he is also very good in the air and, despite originally being limited in game time, he has contributed 5 goals to the team. At 23 he will be around for a long time to come.

Nicolas Otamendi is cut from the same cloth as Sergio Ramos. He is always likely to make a rash challenge and is a yellow/red card magnet. Having said that he is a reliable, no-nonsense defender who gets the job done.

The feeling still persists though, that if Vincent Kompany were fit, Otamendi would be on the bench.

Partnership score – 8/10


Manchester United

Phil Jones & Eric Bailly

This is an excellent partnership albeit an unintended one. Had Victor Lindelof hit the ground running when he arrived at Old Trafford it would probably be he who was partnering Bailly, not Jones.

However, as long as Jones can stay fit he is one of the best defenders in the Premier League. It is his fitness though which is the issue.

Bailly has also had a couple of injuries since he moved to United but he is obviously as very talented defender with the ability, like Jones, to play in two or three different positions.

With Marcos Rojo almost ready to return to the squad United’s choice of centre-backs, with the exception of Smalling, is beginning to look good again.

Partnership score – 9/10


Tottenham Hotspur

Toby Alderweireld & Jan Vertonghen

Another very successful partnership, this time between two Belgians and in defence to boot! Is there no end to their talents? They have top a goalkeeper, midfielders, forwards and now even defenders! They must be favourites for the next World Cup. Oh, hang on a minute, who’s their manager?

Anyway Alderweireld has proven to be another successful purchase by a club from none other than Southampton yet again. They seem to be the breeding ground for some of the best players in the Premier League!

His partnership with Vertonghen has shown to be one of the strongest around at present and both are comfortable with the ball either in the air or on the ground.

They could both score more goals as Vertonghen, who has been at the club for five years has only managed seven in all that time.

By comparison, Alderweireld’s total of six in two years looks quite good but is, in fact, less than he would have hoped for.

In our formative years on the school football pitches of England we were always told that a centre-half should be scoring around five or six goals per season.

Partnership score – 9/10

Anyway, that rounds off our look at the central defenders at the top six clubs in England. As with yesterday, please feel free to comment below with your thoughts or opinions and have a vote in our poll on the left as today is the last day before it changes.




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