The coronavirus pandemic put a pause on every activity for a brief period including sports but slowly all activities have begun to unlock including football. It has been a big challenge for the players mentally as well as physically after coming back from an extended break. In this article, we will discuss 5 defenders who have shone in the Italian Serie A with their all-round skills and strategic thinking.
Defenders have a big role to play in modern-day football. They need to support the midfield and forward line as well as be prepared to protect their territory against any evasive action from the opposition. Today a defender needs to be ready for any role whether it is scoring goals, adding creativity, building up play or shielding their citadel.
This piece consists of a list of 5 defenders in the Serie A who have underlined their all-round skills with some authoritative performances. These defenders possess different technicalities, skills, temperament and physical attributes but have stood up for their sides during crunch situations. We take a look at 5 such defenders who have impressed the most in the ongoing Serie A season.
#1 Gianluca Mancini ( AS Roma)
Mancini is one of the brightest youngsters in Italian football at the moment. The former Atalanta BC player can double up as a defensive midfielder. The 24-year-old is known for his powerful tackles and intelligent clearances. The former Atlanta BC player can operate on both sides of the flanks while his reach allows him to cut out any aerial threat.
Mancini has provided reliability in defence as well as midfield with his quick ball circulation. Mancini’s offensive skills are a big plus inside the box because of his ability to find the net with destructive headers. Mancini’s speed and agility can unsettle the opposition during the run of play.
Mancini has scored 2 goals in 16 Serie A games this season so far. His combination with Rick Karsdorp and Ibanez has made I Giallorossi’s defence more robust. Mancini had once stated manager Paulo Fonseca is impressed with his style of play.
#2 Rafael Toloi (Atlanta BC)
Toloi is known for his ability to build-up play with his clever passing and movements. The 30-year-old can win the ball with his clever interceptions and strong technical abilities. The former AS Roma player can score during critical situations which makes him a valuable scoring option.
Toloi has showcased wonderful variety in his skills and footwork whether it is moving forward or creating chances inside the box. The Brazilian has scored 2 goals in 13 games so far this season. His clever exchanges midfielders Mario Pasalic and Matteo Pessina have added robustness in the midfield. Toloi has operated solidly alongside Hans Hateboer in defence. The defender was quoted as saying that playing under Gian Piero Gasperini has allowed him to grow.
#3 Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan)
Romagnoli has showcased smartness as far as his positioning is concerned to cut out any attacking move. The 26-year-old is known for his strong tackles and timely clearances inside the box. The former AS Roma player’s possession-based play has caused problems for the opposition during open play.
The defender has scored 1 goal in 13 Serie A games so far this season with 1 assist to his name. Manager Stefano Pioli will hope Romagnoli continues with his impressive run.
#4 Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan )
Skriniar has shown a lot of promise with his marking abilities and accurate long passes. The 25-year-old can tackle any scoring threat during one on one situations. Skriniar has added solidity in the defence with his intelligent and staunch defensive play.
The former UC Sampdoria player has scored 2 goals in 13 Serie A games till now this season. Manager Antonio Conte had earlier stated that the Slovakian is a great professional who is growing at a fast pace. Skriniar’s performance will be crucial for Nerazzurri in the future.
#5 Theo Hernandez (AC Milan)
Hernandez has showcased some power-packed performances during the crisis that has changed the outcome of a game. The left back can position himself beautifully with his presence of mind. The France International has partnered well with Alessio Romagnoli in defence.
The former Real Madrid player has shown calmness under pressure and can unsettle the opposition’s game plan with his pace and powerful tackles. Hernandez has also highlighted his ability to score more frequently which has provided enough depth and quality for Rossoneri. The 24-year-old has netted 4 goals in 15 Serie A games this season till now with 3 assists to his name.