The role of a defensive midfielder has only become more crucial with time. We have seen a massive club like Manchester United struggle immensely due to the absence of a quality defensive-minded midfielder.
The likes of Casemiro, N'Golo Kante and other top midfielders have taken the standards of a defensive midfielder to a different level. With intense gameplay involved nowadays, it only makes it vital to have a top-quality defensive midfielder.
Defensive midfielders have decent goal contributions in attack
The performances of defensive midfielders in Europe's top five leagues have been a delight to watch in the 2021-22 season. With their amazing ability to protect their defenders and allow their forwards to exploit the opposition, these midfielders have stood out for their respective teams.
In addition to that, these midfield players have made some vital contributions in attack. They have not only scored crucial goals but also helped in setting up a few. On that note, let's take a look at the defensive midfielders with the most goal contributions this campaign.
#5 Declan Rice (West Ham United)
There is no midfielder in the Premier League who is as wanted as Declan Rice is right now. The Englishman is extremely talented with his skills both on and off the ball.
Rice has the amazing ability to read the game and position himself accordingly. The West Ham midfielder is a smart passer of the ball and is known to make witty and timely tackles. He has been quite productive in attack this season.
The 23-year-old has scored once and assisted four times in the 2021-22 campaign. His forward carries have been quite inspiring and helpful for West Ham United this season.
#4 Julian Weigl (Benfica)
After spending five seasons with Borussia Dortmund, Julian Weigl joined Benfica in 2020. It is with the Portuguese club that the German midfielder is finding rhythm and flow to his game.
Weigl is a good passer of the ball and is known to have a good positioning sense in midfield. At Benfica, the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder has been very active and instrumental for the Portuguese giants this season.
The 26-year-old has scored two goals and registered three assists from deep midfield. With more such performances, Weigl can hopefully get back to his best and fulfill the incredible potential he possesses.
#3 Jorginho (Chelsea)
The Chelsea midfielder had a memorable 2021, winning both the UEFA Champions League and Euro 2020. Jorginho's contributions in midfield were crucial as he brought composure and stability to his team. He was also ranked third in the 2021 Ballon d'Or for his exploits.
The Italian midfielder has an amazing passing range at his disposal, which has come in handy more often than not. Jorginho's penalty-taking abilities have been no secret and have been of utmost help to Chelsea.
Using that, Jorginho has scored six penalties this season, maintaining a 100% record when it comes to taking penalties in the 2021-22 campaign. The Italian has so far scored six goals and assisted once this season.
With the Premier League title and top four race getting intense and tricky, Jorginho will be important for Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea.
#2 Ibrahima Sissoko (RC Strasbourg)
Strasbourg are on a wonderful run this season in Ligue 1 with 35 points in 16 matches. With such an impressive start, the French club are enroute to playing in the Champions League next season.
Ibrahima Sissoko has been one of their most important players this season. The defensive midfielder, with his high work-rate and intensity, has been vital for Strasbourg.
The Frenchman has scored once and assisted six times in the 2021-22 campaign. With his contributions in both defense and attack, Sissoko's performances will be key to Strasbourg's ambitions to play in Europe next season.
#1 Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
Over time, Joshua Kimmich has only gone on to become a much better player than he was before. The German national has turned into a phenomenal midfielder for Bayern Munich.
With his smart reading and intellect on the pitch, Kimmich is a massive asset for the Bavarian club. His passing and goal-scoring abilities from deep midfield have been of immense help. Despite missing games this season due to Covid, Kimmich has made the second most progressive pass (118) in the Bundesliga this season.
Along with his defensive abilities, the German midfielder has been a major contributor in attack. Kimmich scored four goals and registered 10 assets in the Bundesliga last season.
The same form has continued this season as the 26-year-old has scored three goals and four assists. His performance will be important for Bayern Munich for the remainder of the season.