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5 best box-to-box midfielders this season

Ilkay Gundogan
Ilkay Gundogan
Shambhu Ajith
Modified 08 Apr 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

The ability to transition from defence to attack has come to be of utmost importance in the modern game and box-to-box midfielders are crucial to any team in this respect.

A box-to-box midfielder is one of the most versatile players on the pitch. Such players have to help out in defense just as much as they have to going forward. They are hard workers who shuttle up and down the pitch relentlessly and are also proficient in all aspects of the game.

Box-to-box midfielders have to keep moving with the action and the role is pretty self explanatory. We have seen several legendary box-to-box midfielders throughout history and they are usually known for their tenacity and endurance.

The modern game has no shortage for box-to-box midfielders either. Let's take a look at five of the box-to-box midfielders in the game right now.

#5 Mateo Kovacic - Chelsea

Mateo Kovacic
Mateo Kovacic

Mateo Kovacic's role has certainly changed a bit under Thomas Tuchel. With Tuchel choosing to go with a three-man defense, the Croatian has more freedom going forward. He plays the role of a prober, completes more take-ons and has taken more shots under Tuchel than he used to under Frank Lampard or Sarri.

He is also creating a lot more chances these days and has worked his way into being an indispensable part of the current Chelsea squad. The 26-year-old also plays a more central role under Tuchel than he did under previous managers and we're just starting to see the best of him now.

Kovacic's numbers in terms of goals and assists should start to reflect his contributions once the whole team settles down under Tuchel.


#4 Franck Kessie - AC Milan

AC Milan v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Round Of 16 Leg Two
AC Milan v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Round Of 16 Leg Two

AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie has grown in reputation as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the game right now. Kessie's incredible workrate, coupled with his excellent tackling and attacking flair, makes him a threat on both sides of the pitch.

He has been one of the propelling forces behind AC Milan's title charge this term and has scored a whopping nine goals and provided three assists playing in a box-to-box role. Kessie is constantly probing into the attacking realms and into the final third in search of a goal.


He is also always trying to make himself an extra option in and around the area. In addition to that, Kessie never shies away from helping out in defence either.

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Published 08 Apr 2021, 17:36 IST
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