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5 defenders your team should sign from outside the top 5 leagues

Southampton v Manchester City - Premier League
Southampton v Manchester City - Premier League
imkaulik

In recent times, defenders like Ruben Dias, Matthijs de Ligt, and Eder Militao have all come from outside the so-called big leagues. They have had an immense impact and have largely elevated the level of their respective team's performance.

The five top leagues in the world are based in England, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France. So, any footballer who wasn't born in one of these countries or was a part of an academy there needs to come from outside. That is why it is important for clubs to maintain a good scouting network outside the top leagues.

This article aims to find out who is next in line to make the big move. The likes of Pepe and Nicolas Otamendi do not feature here because of their age. They have had great seasons but from a club's point of view, spending money on players well above 30 would be risky.


#5 James Tavernier - Rangers

Eintracht Frankfurt v Rangers FC - UEFA Europa League Final 2021/22
Eintracht Frankfurt v Rangers FC - UEFA Europa League Final 2021/22

James Tavernier finished as the top scorer in this season's Europa League and he's a right back! For those familiar with him, this is hardly surprising.

Since joining the Rangers, he has registered 83 goals and 107 assists in 347 matches. More and more teams are using their fullbacks as wide attackers and while Tavernier is 30, he could still be at the top of his game for 2-3 years more.

Despite hailing from England, the Rangers defender doesn't get the amount of attention he deserves in his home country. A move to the Premier League could change that. Given his performances in the Europa League, a lot of clubs around Europe could be interested.


#4 Pedro Porro - Sporting Clube de Portugal

Official, confirmed. Sporting have now signed Pedro Porro, permanent deal from Man City for €8.5m clause triggered. Contract signed until June 2025. 🟒🀝 #SportingManchester City will have a buy back clause for €20m. Release clause for all the other clubs will be €45m. #MCFC https://t.co/BejBkMpHex

In theory, Pedro Porro has already moved this summer, with Sporting making his loan move from Manchester City for Β£7 million. But given the defender's performances over the last two seasons for the Portuguese club, he will almost certainly move again this summer for a much higher cost.

Porro plays right wing-back and has thrived there, scoring five and assisting seven this season. The Spaniard will be in heavy demand this summer with a lot of big clubs needing a player in his position who can contribute offensively.

He's a good crosser and at the same time, an extremely proactive dribbler. As a bonus, he's also athletic enough to keep up with the fast wingers that he might face.

🚨| AtlΓ©tico Madrid and Real Madrid are eyeing Pedro Porro. The Madrid clubs are looking for a right-back and the Spaniard is referenced. He is protected by a €45m release clause.[@ojogo] #Transfers πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ

#3 David Carmo - Braga

Despite missing a large chunk of the season through injury, David Carmo has continued his spectacular form that he showed last season. The 22-year-old defender has captured the attention of a number of clubs across Europe.

As is a requirement for all modern defenders, Carmo is very good at ball progression. His vision is his strength in this regard.

Esta Γ© a parte em que dizemos: π—¦π—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œπ—œ! David Carmo estreia-se nos 𝗖𝗒𝗑𝗩𝗒𝗖𝗔𝗗𝗒S da Seleção Nacional πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ή https://t.co/4sVMQ4y7cS

He is also 6"5', which means that he is extremely dominant when it comes to aerial duels. Carmo is left-footed, which makes him an even more attractive proposition.

The 22-year-old's performances are gaining recognition as he has been called up by the Portuguese national team for the next set of fixtures. It will be very good to see him get a chance to prove himself. The defender is, by all accounts, ready for a big move.

πŸš¨πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ή NEW: Manchester United are interested in SC Braga’s Centre-back David Carmo who has a price tag of around €40 million with scouts watching him multiple times this this season. @abolapt #MUFC βœ…

#2 Goncalo Inacio - Sporting Clube de Portugal

Potentially, David Carmo's biggest competition for a spot alongside Ruben Dias in the national team, Goncalo Inacio is yet another great young defender coming out of Portugal.

Also left-footed like Carmo, Inacio's biggest strengths include his bravery in possession. He has the licence to roam with the ball and because of his ability to evade pressure, he does it extremely well. His ball progression is based more on carrying it up the field than passing.

Gonçalo InÑcio foi o jogador da Liga Bwin com mais passes certos (1876).Via @_Goalpoint ⚽️ https://t.co/3NV8rH7i1C

In defence, he's a very aggressive and proactive defender. Currently, Inacio registers 0.9 interceptions, 1.4 tackles, and 2.3 clearances per game. At just 20 years of age, Inacio is perfectly poised to have a big future in the game.

Manchester United lead Newcastle in the race for Sporting defender Goncalo Inacio due to their convincing transfer plan, according to a report.(A Bola)

#1 Jurrien Timber - Ajax

Ajax v sc Heerenveen - Dutch Eredivisie
Ajax v sc Heerenveen - Dutch Eredivisie

Jurrien Timber is the most versatile defender on this list. He can function both as a centre-back and a right-back adeptly. His partnership with Lisandro Martinez has been extremely important for Ajax to win the Eredivise.

Although he is just 5"10', which isn't tall for a defender, he more than makes up for it. He is rapid, physically strong and has a very good leap.

Timber really is the complete defender. He is good in defensive duels, reads the game well, and is super comfortable on the ball. He is also a good dribbler and combines well higher up the pitch to create chances as well. Ajax will have an uphill battle on their hands to keep the 20-year-old for next season.

There is a belief that Manchester United are currently the frontrunners to sign Jurrien Timber

Edited by Akshay Saraswat

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