- The Midfield is the engine of any team as they do all the running and link-up play.
- Premier League teams boast the best midfielders in Europe’s top-flight football.
- We rank the best Premier League Center Defensive Midfielders
Who is the Premier League’s best defensive midfielder right now? Successful teams are built on solid foundations, and a defensive midfielder’s role can be critical to a team’s spine.
Those who anchor the engine room rarely get the credit that their attacking teammates do, but they play an essential role in keeping the side balanced.
The Premier League currently has some brilliant ball-winners and deep-lying fulcrums, all of whom specialize in breaking up and building attacks from the midfield’s base.
Here are our rankings of the Premier League’s five best defensive midfielders.
5. Fabinho (Liverpool)
Fabinho tops our list of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League, having been a key player in Liverpool’s recent success.
In truth, the Brazil international has had a slow start to the season, but there have been encouraging signs in recent games, as Liverpool has won three consecutive league games for the first time.
He has been the Reds’ backline’s shield, being in the right place at the right time to mop up the danger.
He is an excellent reader of the game. When Fabinho is in form, Liverpool’s best performances are often when he is snapping into challenges to help set the tempo for Jurgen Klopp’s style and provide cover for the club’s rampaging full-backs.
4. Thomas Partey (Arsenal)
After a fantastic start to the season under Mikel Arteta, Arsenal is the surprise leader at the top of the Premier League table.
The Gunners are four points ahead of Manchester City as the new year approaches, and Thomas Partey’s performances have been crucial to their success.
The Ghana international has overcome his previous season’s fitness issues. His ball-winning ability has impressed them in his anchor role, allowing Granit Xhaka to thrive in a more advanced role.
This season, the 29-year-old leads his teammates in tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes, and his impact can be seen in Arsenal’s record with and without him in the lineup.
Since his arrival, the north Londoners have won 64% of their Premier League games with Partey in the starting XI and 47% when he is not.
3. Declan Rice (West Ham)
Declan Rice’s development has not gone unnoticed by the top clubs, and a battle for his signature is expected when he leaves West Ham.
Rice stated his desire to compete in the Champions League during the World Cup break, so that time may not be far away. He is a vital figure for club and country, combining relentless ball-winning abilities with an increasing impact in the final third.
His bursts forward have developed into a more vital aspect of his game due to his rise to prominence as a defensive shield against the Hammers’ opponents’ attacks.
2. Rodri (Manchester City)
Rodri has bounced back from a lacklustre debut season at Manchester City to establish himself as the focal point of Pep Guardiola’s midfield. He is a gifted player whose qualities are ideal for his coach’s demands.
Given Fernandinho’s significance to City’s recent successes, the Spaniard’s success has been such that the switch from him has been seamless.
Rodri, a press-resistant talent who is at ease off both feet and isn’t afraid to mix it up when necessary, is the ideal blend of presence and playmaking at the base of the City midfield. No midfielder in the Premier League this season has a better pass accuracy percentage than his 91%, demonstrating his excellent passing range over short and long distances.
1. Casemiro (Manchester United)
Manchester United’s search for a midfield enforcer ended last summer when the team signed one of the continent’s most illustrious destroyers.
As a member of Real Madrid’s illustrious midfield trio, including Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, Casemiro arrived with a strong reputation. Together, they won five Champions League championships.
That duo’s superior on-ball play may have overshadowed the more aggressive Casemiro, but the Brazilian has shown off his skills since joining the Premier League.
After some adjustment, he has established himself as a team leader by fusing his elegance with a tenacious desire to regain possession. After some time, the Red Devils finally have a reliable midfield general.