2020 saw sporting events come to a halt like other activities due to the coronavirus pandemic. The English Premier League too suffered the same fate. Slowly like other activities, football too began to unlock. It was a year of drama, excitement and suspense as far as the individual performances in the English Premier League are concerned.
If we closely analyze the individual performances, in the current scenario especially in respect of the defenders, we are witnessing a surprising pattern. This pattern has been visible since the last 4-5 seasons. Defenders are scoring goals, defending their team’s territory and even creating chances.
Defenders with more strategic awareness are attracting limelight this season. Due to the fast-paced nature of the game, the job of a defender has got all the more challenging. In this particular piece, we are about to discuss 5 defenders who in spite of having different variety in their style of play have managed to play an all-round role for their respective sides.
These defenders differ in technique and temperament but are showcasing their quality with some decent performances. We take a look at the performances of 5 such defenders who are attracting the limelight in the current English Premier League season.
#1 Andrew Robertson
Robertson’s all-round qualities and intelligence have proved to be vital for Liverpool. The Scotland skipper is stepping up in the absence of star defender Virgil Van Dijk who is out with an injury. The 26-year-old can keep the ball in possession with his clever circulation and wonderful control.
The former Hull City FC player can create chances with his sublime long-range passes. Robertson’s partnership with Trent Alexander Arnold has added solidity in defence. Robertson has scored 1 goal in 16 games with 5 assists to his name. Jurgen Klopp has praised Robertson’s character and the way he has managed to establish himself at the club.
#2 Reece James
The youngster is a vital link for the Blues. Chelsea FC manager Frank Lampard has shown immense faith in James’ match-winning abilities. The 22-year-old can cut out any attacking move with his powerful tackles and possession-based play during the run of play.
The former Wigan Athletic FC player has showcased his domination at the flanks with his clever decision making. James has utilized his clever interceptions to good effect with his speed. James has scored 1 goal in 13 Premier League games in the ongoing season with 1 assist to his name. Playing under Frank Lampard will be a learning process for James. The 42-year-old manager had stated that James has a bright future ahead of him.
#3 Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Wan-Bissaka’s timely clearances combined with his bold interceptions have turned the game around for Manchester United in crucial situations. The 23-year-old can break the flow of any attack with his clever marking and deceptive speed.
The former Crystal Palace FC player can build-up play with his clever one-touch passes which have often helped the team create more chances inside the box. Bissaka’s co-ordination with Harry Maguire at the flanks has worked well. Bissaka has scored 1 goal in 13 Premier League games this season with 1 assist to his name. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has stated that Van Bissaka provides an attacking source in the outfit.
#4 Ben Chilwell
Whether its scoring goals during critical situations, beating the opposition with his pace, colluding with the midfield to feed the forward line or defending the team’s territory Chilwell is a man for all positions in Chelsea. His partnership with defender Reece James along with midfielder Hakim Ziyech has added reliability in defence as well as midfield.
Chilwell is a big goal-scoring threat during set-pieces where the defender can position himself beautifully inside the box. The 24-year-old has scored 2 goals in 13 Premier League games this season with 4 assists to his name. The former Leicester City player’s style of play has provided Frank Lampard with enough options.
#5 Kyle Walker
One of the most experienced pros in the Manchester City line up, Walker is a perfect definition if we are to explain the role of a defender in football. Known to be technically strong, Walker can change his game as per the opposition’s game and as per the situation.
The 30-year-old can create opportunities during set pieces and can break the opposition’s rhythm with his aggressive tackles. The former Tottenham Hotspur FC player can track the opposition’s movements with his clever understanding. Walker has scored 1 goal in 12 Premier League games with 1 assist to his name. Walker has been one of the most trusted sources in the defensive set up for Pep Guardiola.